I told Maggie I had exciting news about her friend Bea and also about pit bulls that live in Florida. This was her face when I told her she had to wait one more day:
I told Maggie I had exciting news about her friend Bea and also about pit bulls that live in Florida. This was her face when I told her she had to wait one more day:
So I realize that I’ve been a bit of a Debbie-Downer lately and nobody likes that. I do believe a funny post is in order. Remember Eye See You? Well I had a heck of a time getting a decent picture of Buddy, so I figured why not share some of the bloopers? Hopefully I will make some of you smile!
Funny? I hope I got a few giggles out of everyone. I am happy to report that Tag and Maggie are healing up quite nicely. I am also super excited because I learned today that I won a prize. My friend over at And Foster Makes Five put together a great fundraiser and with every $10 donation to the rescue she fosters through, you were entered to win one of 11 awesome prizes. And I won! My luck is finally turning around! And even more exciting, later this week I think that I should have a couple more good pieces of news to report. Stay tuned!
First of all, thank you so much for the kind words everyone! I am just now looking at my blog after posting the news and I am overwhelmed by the support. So again, seriously, thank you! I am very happy to report that Maggie and Tag appear to be back to business as usual: loving and cuddling each other, Buddy, and Rich and I.
I think we did the right thing by taking things slow, but not too slow. My gut told me not to keep them separated too long and risk creating an issue that might not actually be there. As I type this, both girls are curled around each other next to me on the couch, and my heart is happy. Stressed, but happy.
Why am I still stressed and why is this post entitled, “And The Saga Continues..”? I wasn’t kidding when I said I would never allow this to happen again which means I have been strict about keeping the dogs separate when we aren’t home. By Thursday evening we were feeling a little trapped in the house and decided to go out to dinner. Tag and Maggie were still somewhat drowsy from the pain medicine so I decided to leave Maggie loose in the extra room and crate Tag in our bedroom while leaving Buddy loose in the living room. The extra bedroom was “Maggie’s” after the incident and that was where she had spent the majority of her time so I felt it was best to leave her there. My thinking was this would be the least stressful scenario for her; I put her new Thunder Jacket on her and assumed she would just fall asleep on the nest I had made for her on top of the bed. Wrong. We came home to a torn up door with slobbery blood all around. Ok, crating it is then.
Friday was the first full day that we left the dogs alone since the incident. I put Buddy in a crate in the extra bedroom, Tag in a crate in our bedroom, and Maggie in her new “Maggie-proof” crate in the living room. Ha! We came home from work at 5 and were greeted at the door by our little Moo–with fresh blood running down her face. Yup, she smashed right through the new, wooden, solid, “Maggie-proof” crate probably within a few minutes of us leaving. Ok, so that’s not going to work either.
Saturday Buddy was due for his annual HW test where I learned he has Ehrlichia, a tick borne disease. Great. Another dog issue. I then had to be at an adoption/fundraising event (see photos throughout this post) for a good portion of the day so Rich dutifully stayed home to keep an eye on our little rascals. Not long after I got home Rich went to run an errand. I stayed home so we wouldn’t have to crate them…but soon I got a call from Rich saying his car battery was dead so I had no choice but to crate the dogs again. I had noticed Maggie kept going and checking out her old crate so I decided I would leave her in that (besides, her “Maggie-proof” crate was now useless) and crate Tag in the other room with Buddy loose in the living room this time (I didn’t have a crate for him since the girls were in my two original crates and, even if it wasn’t destroyed, he wouldn’t fit in the “Maggie-prrof” crate.) I was gone maaaybe 45 minutes and when I got back discovered Maggie had managed to rip the metal bars off her crate and twist them into nice, sharp, little metal points. Ok, so once again, this isn’t going to work. Great.
Sunday rolls around and, to say the least, I’m feeling a little beside myself. Throwing a pity party isn’t going to get me anywhere though so I got on the phone with a friend and started trying to devise a new plan. She really felt like a plastic crate would do the trick. The rescue had an extra one I could borrow so we went and picked that up, along with Rescue Remedy. Rescue Remedy is a homeopathic spray that helps to relax you. I’ve heard people rave about it but never had any need to try it out since my dogs have always been so mellow and unfazed by things. Obviously that is no longer the case.
Tonight we decided to try out the combination of the new-new crate, Thunder Jacket, and Rescue Remedy. I put Buddy and Tag up, made a Kong and put Maggie in the new-new crate with all of the above mentioned items. We again just went to a quick dinner but returned to a house with all of the dogs in their proper place. I did notice a large about of drool around the front of the crate, and Maggie was panting when we got back, BUT everyone was safe, uninjured, and had wagging tails. I am concerned about the excessive panting and drooling on Maggie’s part (a sign of stress) but I am praying that if we can stick it out for a few days, Maggie will relax and get comfortable with the new set up.
So. It’s been an interesting, and definitely not relaxing, long weekend. I do think we are on the road to getting things under control though. Maggie will be going back to the vet tomorrow because she has developed two masses on her face that I think are puss filled and not draining properly. I am hoping this will be nothing more dramatic than putting a couple of small drains in and we can go on about our day. I hope everyone had a better weekend than we did. The adorable (and amazingly well behaved) German Shepard in the photos is available for adoption so please get in touch with me if he tugged at your heart strings. And I promise, I will be back to happy posts soon!
Warning: This post is long, will not contain pictures, but has graphic descriptions. All parties involved are fine but if you are squeamish you may not want to go any further.
I have been debating writing this since Tuesday evening. I thought about ignoring the event. I thought about lying. I thought about changing facts to save face. Ultimately, I have decided to share Tuesday’s events with all of you. After all, I started this blog to share my ups and downs, my victories, and now my failures.
Ok, what in the world is all this mumbo-jumbo about? As you all know, we had taken in a second foster, the adorable Bea. On Tuesday Rich went home to let her (and the other dogs) out at lunch and around 1 o’clock he called me in a panic. “Something’s wrong, there’s blood everywhere! Tag won’t put her leg down. Maggie’s face is cut up!” Part of me thought he was over exaggerating. Part of me was concerned. I rushed home, thinking I would find Maggie a little cut up from getting out of her crate again and that would be that. More than anything, I was angry because I couldn’t figure out how Maggie kept getting out of her crate; we have it duct taped and zip tied after her last adventure and I was baffled that she had escaped again.
When I walked in the door I was not prepared for what I saw. Maggie’s face looked like it had been through a meat grinder. Tag was matted in blood and not putting weight on her back leg. Buddy was whining and Bea was barking in her crate. I ran back to the bedroom and found Maggie’s crate in the middle of the room with blood everywhere. Balling my eyes out, I grabbed Maggie, Rich grabbed Tag and we rushed to the car. Thankfully I had had the foresight while driving home to call the vet and tell them to be expecting us if everything was as bad as Rich was making it seem. It was in fact worse.
While driving to the vet I called one of my really good friends and told her to go get Bea. Again, I thankfully had a little foresight and left the door unlocked for her. Bea was in no danger, but I did not want her sitting there in distress and I had no idea how long we would be gone. I can only imagine how horrific everything had sounded and I didn’t want to traumatize her by making her sit there alone and confused. I knew Buddy was stressed out but I also knew that he would be fine once the house quieted down.
At the vet they did an initial exam and then took the girls to the back. Tag was getting an x-ray on her leg and they were going to clean her up. Maggie was getting her face stitched and they were going to put her under so they could inspect her mouth—they thought she would need surgery because her gums were torn so badly away from her teeth. I sat there crying while the realization sunk in, “My girls got in a fight. A bad one.”
I never ever in a million bajillion light years would have thought that my two girls would get in a fight. Not with each other. Not on a regular old Tuesday. They were best friends? Not with each other! My mind was racing with questions: Why? What caused it? Who started it? Would things ever be the same?
This was the biggest question of all. Would we ever be normal again? Would we ever all cuddle together on the couch again? Would we be able to all sleep in the same bed, like we had done for the past 10 months? I felt like my perfect life was slipping away, right before my eyes.
A good friend of mine has dogs that she must keep separated at all times. She lives her life rotating dogs, making sure they all get attention, but always on edge because she lives in constant fear someone will get loose and they will fight. I didn’t want that life. I love that we all are always together. I couldn’t fathom one dog having to be left out until it was their turn to get attention. That’s no life for them. That’s no life for me.
The vet came back and said Tag just appeared to have sprained her ankle. She wasn’t certain but she didn’t even think there was a torn ligament. Maggie was going to be fine, she just looked terrible. They said to call back at 5 and they would let us know if we could pick them up or if we needed to take them to the emergency vet for overnight observation. We left the vet’s office and immediately went to the store in search of a new, Maggie-proof crate. I also wanted new collars and leashes for the girls. The old ones were soaked in blood and I know I could have cleaned it, but I didn’t want that bad juju in my house.
When we got home I immediately got to work cleaning the blood off the walls and throwing away the duvet and pillow covers. The mattress had a significant amount of blood on it and I was debating if we could get it out or if we needed to just throw the damn thing away. I called the vet and they said to come get the girls, they were going to be drugged up, but being at home was best.
We picked them up, loaded ourselves down with medicine, drove home, and went straight into separate rooms. Tag’s tail was wagging and, dare I say, she seemed almost back to normal already. Maggie was not. Her eyes were nearly swollen shut and her entire face was covered in stitches and about twice its normal size. We bought wet food since they told us her mouth was going to be very sore and I hand fed her bits of it so she could get the medicine and a little something on her stomach. Rich went out to the car to clean up the blood and then he assembled the new crate (super fancy one that actually looks like furniture but should truly be escape proof.) I spent the evening bouncing between the two rooms, checking on the girls, and I slept that night in the spare room with Maggie.
I stayed home the next day to watch them and again, spent my time bouncing between the two girls or cleaning blood out of the carpet and mattress. Hydrogen Peroxide is amazing and I was able to get basically everything out. I also had to take Tag back for laser therapy because her wounds were oozing pretty bad. I sat and talked with the vet and after describing the “scene” and analyzing the wounds on each of the girls, we were able to put together an idea of what we think happened.
As best we can tell, Maggie got out of her crate and then something caused Tag to snap. We think Maggie jumped on the bed to escape and slid down, pinning herself between the bed and the wall, and Tag then attacked her. The pooling of blood between the mattress and wall, and the fact that the mattress was slid a little out from the wall, and the fact that Maggie only has wounds on her face, support this theory. Tag’s wounds are only on her chest which further supports the theory that she was standing on the bed and attacking down on Maggie while Maggie fought to get herself up. Tag also only has scratches (deep, but just scratches) will again supports the theory that Maggie was basically defending herself.
I think that having Bea in the house changed the dynamic. I know how delicate pack orders and all that good stuff can be so I had been watching all of them very carefully for signs that Bea was causing stress, but I thought everyone was fine. Obviously I missed something. Bea is now being fostered by another very good friend of mine (check out Bea here.) I hated handing Bea over to a different foster when she was doing so well with us, but it was the right thing to do. I didn’t want to further stress my own dogs and I also didn’t want to risk anything happening to that sweet baby. I know she is getting loads and loads of attention at my friend’s house AND we already have an application from a wonderful family for her. They adopted a dog from Last Hope and I am praying that they meet her and fall in love because their home would be absolutely perfect for her.
After Maggie started perking up on Wednesday it became obvious that she was extremely upset by the situation. She missed her friends and wanted things to go back to normal, I could just tell. Wednesday evening when Rich got home we took them all on a walk and I closely observed body language. When we got inside we kept the girls on their leashes and all sat and watched a movie together. Everyone was displaying good body language and more than once Maggie tried to crawl on the couch and snuggle up to Tag. I wasn’t ready for that just yet and wanted to take things slow. I slept again with Maggie in the extra room that night and by morning felt comfortable letting them all loose in the house together. Rich stayed home all day with them Thursday and kept an extremely close eye on them. At lunch time he sent me a picture of the girls cuddled up on the love seat.
I will never again leave the dogs unattended. All three will now get crated in separate rooms when we are gone. It is not worth risking something like this ever again. In that aspect, my life will change. I can no longer fly out the door to run a quick errand and leave the dogs all out. Trips to the gym will now require making Kongs before hand and settling everyone in their places. I don’t’ mind. I am just happy beyond words that there does not seem to be any lingering animosity between Tag and Maggie. I will be a little on edge, and paying extra close attention to body language, but I think things are going to be ok.
If Maggie is not absolute proof that pit bulls have the most amazing spirit, I don’t know what is. Her best friend in the world attacked her and she didn’t even seem to fight back. Instead, she was upset that they were no longer friends. She would lie in front of the door to the room Tag was in and whine. She just wanted her friend back.
I know this was graphic but, if you are reading this, thanks for sticking it out. If you’re thinking I’m a miserable failure of a dog owner, well, we are on the same page. I have been beating myself up like crazy. I should have gotten a new crate after Maggie escaped the first time. I should have been crating Buddy and Tag. I should have seen this coming. So, the reason I ultimately decided to share this, was because I am hoping it might lead someone to reevaluate a situation that they could have their dogs in that might potentially lead to something like this. Trust me, you’re thinking, “Yea right, my dogs would never do something like that.” Well for what it’s worth, that is exactly how I felt too. I would have rolled my eyes, felt sorry for the person writing the post, and gone about my business. Please, stop and just look around. Is there anything that could trigger a fight that you hadn’t ever thought of? Are there any hidden dangers you could prevent? Anything you have been meaning to get around to fixing but just not thought it was important enough to rush? Just look for me, please? If something good can come out of this then I will at least feel a little better.
As in: Spoiled-Completely-Rotten-But-You-Don’t-Even-Care-Because-She’s-So-Cute Brat. I mentioned last week that Bea would be attending an adoption event this past weekend. Her precious toes did not even touch the ground once. This is how she spent the entire event:
It’s true. We swaddled her and held her like a baby. Bea was scared by all of the loud noises, not to mention it was frigidly cold, so how could we not carry her around like a baby? I really don’t think anyone was complaining about the puppy snuggles though. Unfortunately, this caused Bea to be rather overlooked. I’m sure most people walked past our booth and didn’t even realize there was a puppy there.
I was hoping a perfect family would see Bea and fall in love. That wasn’t the case this past weekend but I am still hoping it will happen soon. She just has the silliest, sweetest, goofiest little personality of any puppy! Actually, “little” personality is the wrong phrase; Bea has a BIG personality.
Bea thinks she is the toughest dog on Earth. She loves to torment the big dogs and I really don’t think she realizes that they are just letting her have her fun–I think she actually thinks she can beat them up. Let me tell you, it is quite hilarious to watch all 20 lbs of Bea pounce on 80lb Buddy with a ferocious puppy snarl. But as soon as play time is over, she wants to be cuddled riiiight up on your neck. She is constantly giving sweet little puppy grunts and moans. It iss about the sweetest thing ever.
This was a bit of a rambling post but the moral of the story is: Bea is pure adorableness! If you or anyone you know is in the market for an incredibly sweet, not to mention smart and well behaved, puppy send them my way! Oh, and feel free to hit that “share” button and help increase her chances of being swooped up by the perfect family while she still has her sweet puppy breath.
If you follow my blog, you might remember my post about the super, amazing, wonderful series of events that lead to my brother adopting the two dogs from Wakulla that I was so in love with. Well, this past weekend I was in Jacksonville so I got to see them!
I got there Thursday and that was the day Louise (formerly known as Ava) aka LuLu was scheduled to be spayed so by the time I got there she was already at the vet. Thelma (formerly Abby) aka Chunk was so sad that was missing out on what she assumed was a grand adventure so Nic took it as an opportunity to spoil her. I wasn’t kidding when I said he was the best dog parent ever! Before I got to town her took her to the pet store and let her pick out a new bone. When I got there we went and got lunch at an awesome burger place and then walked around the beach.
After the beach we went to pick up LuLu (which I completely forgot to get pictures of!) and it was quite a funny experience. Lulu gave me all sorts of kisses but when Nic tried to get one, she turned her head and wouldn’t look at him. She was mad at him! As soon as they got home and she realized where they were she turned and gave him kisses. As funny as it was, it is also a little sad because it makes you wonder just how many times she got left somewhere and never picked up by her people. It will take time but she will learn that Nic will NEVER not be there to pick her back up.
Nic put a divider in the crate so that LuLu could rest peacefully and heal without Chunk pestering her. After letting them out to potty they raced back in side and the picture above is how he found them. They can’t stand to be separated! Seriously, is that not the cutest thing you have ever seen? Nic’s exact words, “I am completely in love with them.” I just about cry every time I think about how beautifully everything turned out.
Stay tuned for some adorable Bea updates! She will be attending an adoption event this weekend and I am hopeful she will find her forever family. Wish us luck and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!
I mentioned yesterday that today I was going to brag all about Maggie and here it comes! I was a bad blogger and didn’t talk much about when Maggie graduated from her first Obedience course. I can’t honestly remember what all was going on but I know I was busy and I just kind of forgot about it. Bad Morgan!
Tuesday was Maggie’s graduation night from Intermediate Obedience and I couldn’t have been more proud. She has come so incredibly far since I got her and it is amazing to me that she is even the same dog. Without a doubt, I owe a HUGE portion of this progress to Michelle at Doggie Dayz (where Maggie’s classes are). Michelle was right there to call me out when I did something stupid (like repeat a command rather than making Maggie follow through) or to tell me to relax when I got anxious. I think I actually probably got more out of the classes than Maggie did.
Maggie quickly became good at “heel” and has always been a pro at “sit”. Within a couple of classes she knew that if I stopped walking, she had to sit, without me evening needing to give her the command. “Down” was a tough one for Maggie though. Michelle explained that it is a very submissive and vulnerable position which can be tough for an already nervous dog. With practice, time, and a marked increase in Maggie’s confidence, she got better and better. Now when Maggie doesn’t want to go “down” it’s because she is being hard-headed and I have to have more will power than her. Have you ever tried to out will power a pit bull? It’s no easy feat. I suppose that’s part of why I love the breed though.
Fast forward to our last class on Tuesday and Maggie is walking around, surrounded by other dogs, and only focusing on me. For the majority of class, she didn’t even have her leash on! There was a particularly handsome black lab that Maggie couldn’t resist giving kisses to (they were playing together before class and she developed a serious crush) and she did wander over to him a couple of times for a quick smooch, but I was able to quickly get her focused back on me. There was also an incident with a very vocal Schnauzer where Maggie felt the need to rush over and insert herself in the situation but after putting the leash back on for a few minutes and gathering ourselves, we were ready to go leashless again.
Maggie learned all sorts of other things in class but what I am so proud of, and frankly amazed by, was our ability to maintain focus on each other with only my words, eye contact, and some delicious treats. The first time Michelle instructed us to drop our leashes I literally refused. I was certain Maggie would bolt off and possibly get herself in trouble. Michelle had to come over and physically take the leash out of my hand. I love her for doing it though because she had the faith in Maggie that I should have had. At that moment I relaxed and stopped imagining worst case scenarios and instead allowed myself to see Maggie the way Michelle did. As soon as I started having faith in Maggie, she not only lived up to, but exceeded my expectations.
Honestly, we were probably the least advanced in the class but I will take the blame for that. Maggie and I do not practice nearly enough. We should be practicing multiple times a day but in reality days often go by where we don’t even practice at all. I know, I know, bad dog mom! And Michelle, if you are reading this, don’t be too harsh–it’s usually because I am busy driving all over this part of the state trying to save other dogs. Despite the fact that we were shown up by the rest of the class, I am still extremely proud of Maggie’s progress.
In addition to Maggie’s amazing progress with obedience training, I need to spend some time bragging about how excellent she is with Bea. She loves that little puppy. I’ve mentioned it before, but Maggie plays rough. I was concerned she wouldn’t understand that Bea is just a baby and would end up hurting her accidentally. Not the case at all. Truly, it is amazing to watch them play together. Maggie let’s Bea roll her around, pounce at her with ferocious puppy snarls, and gnaw on her face. She is endlessly patient with her. Even though Maggie will shoot me an exasperated glance every now and then, I know she actually loves having a playmate. When Bea is busy snuggling, Maggie will gaze lovingly at her, waiting for her to be ready to play again. Buddy and Tag are very “eh” about having a puppy in the house. They tolerate her but aren’t too interested in actually playing with her. Im reality, Maggie and Bea are actually much closer in age than Maggie and my dogs are, which might be part of why they make such a great duo. I can’t stop saying it, I am just so proud and amazed and even more in love with Maggie because of Bea.
I know that was long and mushy but I am just so proud of Maggie. She has come so far in the time that I’ve had her. I am truly amazed that she has not been adopted by someone yet. She’s basically the perfect package! My Marvelous Maggie Moo. Have you had a dog (foster or permanent) that you are particularly proud of? I’d love to hear about him or her!