On Nov. 9, 2018, I adopted a 6 month puppy from Jackson County Animal Services. Her name is Chloe. They said she is an Australian Shepherd/Great Pyrenees cross. They were wrong. Chloe is
38.1% American Pit Bull Terrier
13.7% American Bulldog
8.3% American Staffordshire Terrier
4.8% Australian Cattle Dog
4.0% German Shepherd Dog
12.4% Supermutt: Chow Chow, Doberman Pinscher, and English Setter
She had a limp in her front right leg and they put in her medical records, 11/6/18 “Front legs feel stable and not showing pain.” I was told that her limp was simple growing pains and it’ll get better. It took a month before my veterinarian could get Chloe in. By this time Chloe’s limping got worse along with the colder wetter weather. The vet felt Chloe’s leg and asked if she could do an x-ray. I agreed since this limp was getting worse. Chloe was diagnosed with UAP fracture. This is one of four types of elbow dysplasia. Dogs with UAP develop osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) in the elbow, which causes pain if nothing is done. Her joints currently move freely. Chloe is in that window that will determent if she'll have a normal pain free life or one that cripples her in pain. When I told the pound of this problem, they offered for me to bring Chloe back and pick another puppy/dog for free. This is a death sentence to Chloe and I found it very insulting. I took it as there’s a problem with your kid, bring the kid back and we’ll put her down, and you can pick a new kid for free. I think any true animal lover would take it this way. Chloe has already bonded with me, my dog and cats. The hens and Chloe are still getting used to each other. Chloe is learning the leave it command with them. I have a policy to not leave a puppy or dog with prey animals like chickens until the puppy has grown up and trained. She’s part of my family now as are we part of her pack. She is a great pup mentally, very eager to learn, but just needs one thing fixed. I’ve already paid for her to be enrolled in training school which took a few months to save up for. She would get beginning, intermediate and advanced education. I had to push the start date back since I need Chloe healed up. I give her glucosamine, MSM, and Chondroitin supplements. I bought her a ramp, so she can get in/out of my vehicle without hurting herself. Under Chloe’s vet recommendations, Chloe is restricted from all exercise. She’s in crate (48″ long) at all times unless on a leash to go out to do her business. I do use the very limited leash time to work on a little training with her. She’s also on 100mg Carprovet (pain pill- $1.50/pill) once a day. It does break my heart having to keep Chloe in her crate all the time. I know it’s for her own good, but still hard to do. I love this sweet girl and I know she doesn't understand why I'm doing this. When she cries, I go to her and give her pets and hugs. I know she wants to play and be at my side. She wants to be the puppy that she is. She has lots of training ahead of her, a job, and a big family waiting for her to be healed and join us. I was raised on a small farm. I was in many different types of 4-H for animals.
I’ll never understand how people get a pet and toss them when something is wrong. This really makes it harder for the next person trying to build that bridge of trust. My other dog, Copper, was thrown away so many times with long stays at the pound in between them that it took him awhile to trust me. When he was adopted the many times before, he’d be returned in under a month every time. In fact the first month I had him, he’d try to sleep but kept waking up, looked around, and had the look of disbelief he was still home in his conformable bed with his toys and treats. He gave the same look when I gave him treats. I had to give him the 'Take it' command for him to take the treat. At first he liked to bury them. I think he learned to do this for days when he wasn't fed by a previous owner. When I give him treats now, he puts it in his bed under his pillow and runs over to giving me hugs and kisses a few times then does a happy dance. It's been a few years since he was starved, but that part of him is still active. He gulps he food down fast, so I split his meals in half. His 1st real Christmas, I gave him a big box full of treats (bones, raw hides, pig ears, cow hoof, toys for fetch and tug of war), and yes it was wrapped like all of the rest of the presents. My hens, cats, and dogs aren’t pets to me, they are family members. They all are living beings with feelings, wants, needs, and souls. As you can imagine with Copper’s past, he developed severe separation anxiety and was very fearful. Sounds we take as common were scary to him like the garage disposal, lawn mower, a car driving down the street, etc. Others were scary for other reasons like water or anything that could hold it, or broom/mop, anything that could hit him. If something drops, he'd jump straight up a few feet. Now days, he'll jump to his feet and look around. He's learned most of the time one of cats knocked something over and ran off. With a little intro to the vacuum, he’s great with it and will even sleep while I’m using it. Raising my hand or arms and he’d cower expecting to be beat. He was very under weight too. He looked like a walking skeleton covered in hives. He had chronic ear infections. I had to slowly increase his food to get him to his ideal weight. Believe it or not, putting a starving animal on full feed can kill them. Using trail & error to figure out what he had an allergy too, I learned that he could eat chicken and real chicken by product, but not man made chicken by product. He also has to avoid either wheat or corn. Both of these are in my hen's scratch and every time he eats it, he hives up with double ear infections. I flipped him to a grain free diet. He loves fruit for treats. I crate trained him. This saved my house and yard from being destroyed every time I left home, or put him outside by himself. I have a hard enough time trying to keep the cats off of the wet floor after I mop with their operation paw print. Copper is my hardest case of a rescue both physically and mentally. There are other great reasons to crate train. If your dog ever has to stay over night at the vet, they'll know what to do and be more relaxed. Crate training is also a great tool for house breaking puppies too. The first two years, I worked with Copper as a single dog. Physically he’s healed. Mentally he’s not healed all the way, but a lot better. He acts like he has PTSD. He flips from the good boy that I worked so hard for to the fearful driven dog I got those few years ago. I put him through basic training, and was so proud of him when he graduated. He’s good around my cats and hens. The worst he’s done to the hens is sniff them then give a golden shower. My hens all run from him now when they see him raise his leg. Copper learn quickly do not do his business in the house or he'll be chased by a fluffy upset cat until he gets outside. I’m still trying to break him of going to the bathroom on concrete, but think this is from all those painful years being locked up. Copper was even afraid of his water bowl when I got him. Watching him drink was kind of painful as he slowly approached the bowl looking everywhere then take a lick and jump back. He'd repeat this until he got his fill. I knew his fear of water had to be addressed since this will affect his health. I got a shallow pool for him for two reasons: 1st was with Copper’s fear of water, I didn’t want to overwhelm him when I started his desensitizing. The 2nd was some of my hens think they are ducks and jump in. Let’s just say chickens can’t swim like a duck…or float well. At 1st, I put a little water in the pool. Copper started shaking like a leaf. I calmed him down and when he finally relaxed, I gave him treats and slowly moved closer to the pool. Once he could handle sitting by the pool, I put some treats in the water. I learned he didn’t know how to get the treats on the water, so I taught him. I put some treats in my hand. My hand started above the water and as his confidence grew, I lowered my hand a little by little in the water. Slowly, I worked with Copper stepping in the pool a paw at a time to standing to sitting to laying in the pool of water. He’s still a little nervous, but he can do it now. Now days, he can get his ball out of water even if fully submerged. Copper loves fetch. He knows a great game is about to start when the hens are put in a separate area. I used the game fetch to desensitize him when I raise my arms and for basic training like come, sit, drop it, leave it, etc. He’s mostly Amstaff and is about 25% lab, but afraid of rats-dead or alive. I've never seen a dog afraid of rat in my whole life let alone a terrier. When Copper sees a rat, he yelps tucks his tail between his legs, and runs while peeing to the other side of the yard. He'll hide behind something. The first time he did, I thought the rat startled him. Since then I've seen him do this a few times to either live or dead rats. I plan on getting a toy rat for him.
Despite Copper being a few years old when I got him, I learned he didn't know what a dog house was or for him, not my hens. One rainy day, I was outside and noticed Copper sitting with his head looking down in the pouring rain while his dog house was full of hens. He looked so sad sitting there. I removed all of the hens and lead them to their hen house. I came back to see Copper was still sitting there in the rain while his dog house was empty. I called him over to his dog house and put him in it. I started to walk away and Copper tried to follow, I told him no, back. I was using his fear of water (getting wet) to my advantage here. Copper went back in and stayed. After that day, he used his dog house. Another odd thing I learned about Copper was he didn't bark. I had him for a year and half before he did. I thought that bad owner beat it out of him by that point, so when he did bark it took me a while to relies it was my dog barking. I took this as a sign that great dog I saw in him when we met was starting to come out. Sure there where times when I thought Copper might be too far gone. But when I looked in his brown trusting eyes, I knew I had to keep trying. That great dog I saw under all that damage is still there, begging for help to get out. This great dog in him is getting stronger by the day. It takes a very dedicated person to do what I've done for Copper. Now when I look in to his eyes I see thank you, and since his best friend Chloe has been restricted in her crate, I also see please help my best friend like you helped me. I got Chloe for two main reasons. The first was for Copper. With his abused past and flash backs, I needed to use the pack to help him. Chloe has helped to stabilize him. She is undamaged mentally, strong, a leader (of course under me). The second reason was to be a guardian to my hens, and a extra bonus she’d also protect my vegetable crop from rodents since Copper is afraid of them as my destroyed crop of corn from last year showed. Copper and Chloe become fast friends. They share most treats, toys, and the water bowl, but the food bowl is off limits. Chloe has never starved, so she takes her time, chewing her food whereas Copper gulps his down without really chewing it fast. The only time these two ever got in a fight was when Copper tried to steal Chloe's food. I use Sentry: stop that for discipline. One short burst and they both stopped asap. It make a noise that confuses them and releases a calming dog pheromone. During this confusion period redirect the dogs. With Chloe being in a crate at all times, Copper won’t leave her side unless he needs to go to the bathroom. Look at the life I gave Copper. He went from a very broken dog that no one wanted. He didn't know what love or a full belly was to a real life full of love and have everything he could want. If I could do that for Copper, just think of the great life Chloe has in store for her. But first the money needs to be raised, so she can get this much need surgery and start to heal. Thank you to all that have donated and shared. If you wish to, the link is below. I hope the funds can be raised. I may be poor financially, but I’m rich where it counts, the heart.