Posts by Foster Dog

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Padre. The new kid on the block.

Sweet, sweet Padre. Sweet, sweet, younger-than-expected Padre. :)

We originally thought the small standard, chocolate long boy, Padre, was 16 1/2, but as it turns out, he's really 14 1/2. Which makes a lot more sense considering his movement and mental faculties.

He was transported to Waco on Friday. His itinerary over the last week has been really hectic with our home being the fourth place in just a little over a week that he's landed...fifth if you include the two hour drive from Dallas sitting on Rosann's lap. And needless to say, this was one stressed and insecure boy. It's tough for a younger dog to handle, but when you're retirement age, well, it's really hard.

The first evening here, all he did was pace and pant and pace and moan. Very insecure, though you could tell he was going to get on fine with the other geriatrics at the house. He wasn't interested in eating and the look on his face would break your heart. He just did not understand what was happening to him.

Yesterday was his first full day here, and the stress must have finally been too much. He spent most of the day passed out on a blanket by my desk. Most of the other dogs camp out there, so he found a place and collapsed. He did show enough interest in what was going on in the kitchen when I went in there, and there was a LOT of interest in the fridge.

Still he just mainly wanted to sleep. He didn't eat dinner, but did nibble some and ate any treat you put in front of him. He got lots of love and sweet talk and petting. And brushing.

His coat. Oh my. It sucks. There's apparently a combination of things going on. Bad food from his original home, lack of grooming, lack of bathing. His coat is really rough. Split ends and blowing and felt like he'd been rolling in dust and dirt. I slickered him a couple of times and between the flakes, the scratching and the coat coming out, I could tell he was miserable.

This morning when I got up, he was at the den gate to say good morning. Tail wagging and bright eyed which was a definite improvement over the stressed and shut down boy he's been for the last 36 hours. He also had a bit of breakfast which was the first substantial amount of food he's had.

His day has really been taken up by a lot of attention, and you can tell he's loving being around the other dogs. He's not been a huge fan of the cats, but that generally takes time. Like every other foster we've brought in, he gravitates to Ollie, my big, black Oriental Shorthair boy. For some reason the house panther is the most fascinating. He showed some interest in Howdy, my Devon Rex mix, until he realized that her posture and eye contact didn't make her a good candidate to chase. As I told him, Ollie is the cat he can chase and not catch; Howdy is the cat he can chase and wish he hadn't caught. Not to put too fine a point on it, Howdy takes no shit from any dog.

I suspect he will come to understand the cats fairly soon. :)

This afternoon, I decided that no matter his stress level, he HAD to have a bath. His itching was too much (even with a Benadryl he was still scratching) and, frankly, he just smelled houndy. So tub time for Padre. He got a good, long soaping and a heavy slathering of conditioner. I didn't dare try to blow him dry...his coat was literally breaking off in my hands. You could run your hands down his back and sides, and little clumps of hair about 1/4 inch would be all over.  He got lots of treats during and after the process, and while he's not a fan of bathing, you could tell the play of the water over his back felt good.

He's going to have to air dry, and I suspect he'll have a really bad case of the frizzies, but at least he'll be clean and he should have some relief. Daily brushing and good food will take care of the rest, though it will take time. For now, he's passed out again on the blanket, so I know he's at least feeling somewhat better.

Randall and I talked it over and I asked Linne what ATDR's plans would be for him. When everyone thought he was two years older, we knew he'd be a permanent foster. At 14 1/2, though, I wasn't sure. After some discussion, though, Padre will be a "sponsorship" dog. Like I told Linne, if someone saw him, fell in love and just HAD to have him, well, that'd be one thing. But the likelihood of that happening is pretty slim, and really the poor guy needs stability, so he's here until he has to leave us.

So I doubt I'll post too many updates on him. He will have a photo album like the others do, but this blog will concentrate mainly on Aggie and Penny.

I did get a couple of photos of him. The first was yesterday afternoon when he was awake between naps. The others are just after his bath (don't look at his toenails, they're awful and will get cut when he goes in for a dental in a couple of weeks).

And I do want to thank everyone who has been involved with this sweet boy for the last week or so. Janice, Don, Rosann...thank you all so much. I know Padre doesn't understand what's been going on, but I do, and I appreciate everyone's help in getting him here to us.