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Here’s the update that everyone’s been waiting for!
Bud, the abandoned one-year-old dog that I rescued this past Thursday night, is doing great!
Durng the past five days, he has become even more loving and sweet.
And he has proven that he is completely housebroken — no accidents at all.
And, thanks to fresh eggs, fish oil capsules, really good dog food, cheese, three separate shampooings with Selsun Blue shampoo, and one Benadryl pill each day, he’s gained a little bit of weight, his coat is really, really shiny, and the formerly dry skin on his back is almost completely healed already. Now, instead of being all white, crusty and flaky, it’s just a little bit pink, and his coat is already getting thicker there.
This coming Thursday morning (the day after tomorrow), Bud’s going to our vet to get neutered, and to get all of his vaccinations, to make sure that he’s completely up-to-date.
Update: I ended up having to reschedule Bud’s vet appointment to Friday morning, because I had forgotten that I had to be at work very early on Thursday morning.
Plus, a few days ago, I treated him with Revolution — the same flea/tick/heartworm drops that I put on the back of Max’s neck every month — so he’s all protected from those things.
As always, he’s loves every dog he meets, and he’s happy to meet people and kiss anyone who pets him and talks nice to him.
But he’s really attached to me, so even when other people are giving him attention, he turns and looks to make sure that I’m still there with him.
He loves when I crouch down where he can press his snout into my side and just stand there, hiding his face against me.
He also loves when I sit on the garage floor, so he can lay up against me and turn over on his back to get his belly rubbed.
I’ve also learned that he’s not territorial about his food. While he’s eating, I can pet his back, pet his face, reach into his food bowl, and he just ignores me and keeps eating. Even even if I take his food bowl away, he patiently waits for me to put it back down for him to continue eating.
The night of the 4th of July, several of our neighbors lit their own fireworks, and many of them sounded like they were exploding right outside our garage door. Bud was very scared, and the loud, sudden noises made him cry.
But when I sat on the garage floor, leaning against a wall, he lay down in front of me with his head in my lap and, as I petted him, he went to sleep. And once he fell asleep, he completely ignored the rest of the fireworks.
At the end of every day, I take off the T-shirt that I’ve been wearning all day and spread out on the pillow in Bud’s crate. He happily goes right into his crate, turns a quick circle, and lays down on top of my shirt. I think it helps him feel safe to have my scent nearby when he’s alone in the garage.
Although I tried a number of them, Bud still doesn’t know what to do with toy balls, stuffed animals and other toys. Apparently, no one ever gave him a toy before.
Until today, he also didn’t know what to do with the various rawhide bones, flavored rawhide toys and dental sticks that I got for him.
But today, I finally found a type of rawhide bone that is shaped like a hollow tube, with reddish, chicken-flavored filling inside. When I first offered it to him, he took it and walked around with it in his mouth for a minute, but then he put it down and ignored it. So I ran some hot water over it, to bring out its flavor, and the next thing I knew, he was happily lying in his crate, holding it between his front paws, and chewing on one end of it.
When we go for walks, I’m slowly teaching him to “stop” on command, and then stand still until I tell him “walk.”
During those walks, he’s curious about nearby squirrels and bunnies, and groups of ibises, but only as potential playmates. If they stand still, he watches them and walks right past them, but it fhey run, he playfully wants to chase them. Those are some of the times that I reinforce his “stop” lessons.
Bud is basically a medium-sized dog with the calm, happy, loyal, loving, obedient personality of a large dog.
If you’d like to see Bud in action, here’s a short video of him that I shot yesterday afternoon. I think the ending is incredibly poignant, thanks to the juxtaposition of Bud’s behavior and a song that just happened to be playing on the radio at the time.
Update, July 8, 2011: This morning, our vet completely checked out Bud, neutered him, microchipped him, trimmed his nails a second time, and made him current on all of his inoculations. As of this writing, he’s still at the vet’s, under observation, while his surgical anesthetic wears off. I’m going to go pick him up in about 45 minutes.
Update, July 8, 2011, 8:00 PM: Bud’s surgery was a success and he was a perfect patient. Everyone at our vet’s office loves him. Along with all of the things that I described above, he also has his one-year county dog license, is registered with HomeAgain ® and has some special medicated shampoo that will get rid of the final vestiges of a minor skin infection on his back and belly.
When I went to pick him up, he was still under the influence of both morphine and tramadol. but, after a few minutes, he gave me a few kisses on the face.
In the car on the way home, he chose to stand up in the back seat, instead of laying down. Once we got home, I offered him a little bit of food and water, but he wasn’t interested in them. After I took him out in the back yard on a leash to go pee, he almost immediately went to sleep in his crate. After an hour or two, he began to lick his wound area, so I put on the large, cone-shaped, plastic collar that prevents him from being able to reach it, and he went back to sleep.
About 20 minutes ago, he was awake enough to be both hungry and thirsty, and he happily ate all of his supper and drank some water, while I held his food and water bowls up at the right height so that he could reach into them, because he didn’t want to bend down to eat or drink when I left them on the floor. I suspect that maybe that’s because he’s feeling a little dizzy or shaky from the medications.
Right now, with his tummy full and tonight’s tramadol pill coursing through his veins, he’s asleep again.
Update, July 13, 2011, 8:52 PM: Bud is a really happy, happy boy. Every time he sees me, his ears instantly go down flat and he wags his tail as he walks over to me. As soon as he reaches me, he starts kissing my hands as I pet his head. Then, I crouch down and kiss his head. As soon as I crouch down, he kisses me on the face and, as I pet him, he turns and stands with his left side against the front of my legs. Then he lifts his right-front leg so far that he tips over onto the floor on his left side, then rolls over onto his back, on top of my shoes, so that I can pet his chest. What a sweetheart! His stitches are healing perfectly, thanks in part to him rolling over onto his back so readily, which makes it really easy for me to apply triple antibiotic cream to that area. He’s still wearing his cone-shaped collar, to prevent him from licking his stitches.
Tonight, Ethan, one of the grandchildren visiting next door, came over, to help me take Bud on his evening walk in the nearby park. Ethan is nine years old. When we walked into the garage, Bud came right to me and did his roll-over trick. After I petted him a little, he got up and walked over to Ethan — who he had only met once before, a couple of nights ago. When Ethan started petting him, Bud gave Ethan several kisses on his face and then dropped to the floor and rolled over onto his back, exactly as he does with me!
Something else that Bud loves is when I sit or lay on a blanket on the garage floor, with my back up against the wall. As soon as he sees me do that, he cuddles up against me, lays down right up against my leg and rolls over, either onto his side or onto his back. Then as I slowly pet his head, side and chest, he kisses my hands and falls asleep, feeling completely secure, relaxed and loved.
I’m starting to get calls from people who are interested in possibly adopting him. But, as you know, I’m not in a hurry to find him a new home and I’m not iooking for just any home for him. So he’s not a “free dog,” waiting for anyone to just come and get him — he’s a very special boy who is going to stay with me until we find him the right home — a really good home, with people who absolutely love him as much as I do.
With that in mind, I’m creating an adoption application for potential adopters to fill out, similar to the adoption application that people fill out when they want to adopt a pet from a shelter.
I absolutely love Bud and he absolutely loves and trusts me. So I’m going to do everything I can do to make sure that his new family will give him the same love and care that I give him. I happily spent a lot of money preparing Bud to be all ready for adoption. Likewise, his new family will love him enough, be committed to the adoption process enough, and be financially secure enough to be happy to reimburse me for a significant portion of those costs.
Update, July 19, 2011: Every day, Bud gets even more wonderful. Until yesterday, every time I offered him one of Max ‘s “crunchy boney bones,” he has looked at it and then turned away, not knowing what it was. But yesterday, on my lunch break, I put one in his mouth. He stood and held it there for a few seconds, and then carefully placed it on the garage floor. I put it back in his mouth and rubbed it around a little bit. At that point, he seemed to taste it a little, but he still put it down after a couple of seconds. So, I wetted it down with warm water, to help bring out its flavor, and then put it back in his mouth. His expressive eyes told the whole story as he suddenly realized that this was something that he could eat. A few seconds later, he was happily crunching it up.
When I left to go back to work for the afternoon, I gave him a second crunchy boney bone. Four hours later, when I got home, he was sleeping in his crate (with the door open). He stretched and came over to greet me, his tail wagging. But his mouth looked weird. His lips were partially open. After a couple of seconds, I realized that he was carrying the crunchy boney bone that I had given him at the end of my lunch break. Apparently, he wanted my approval to be able to eat it, because as soon as I started petting him and telling him what a good boy he was, he happily crunched it up.
So, even though he had apparently never before in his entire life been given a rawhide bone or a treat, Bud now knows how to chew rawhide tubes with fake chicken stuff inside, and how to eat crunchy boney bones. Pretty soon, I may try to teach him how to play fetch with a ball. I got the idea a few nights ago, when he was with me in our fenced-in back yard. I walked around, picking up the rock-hard fruits of our Magnolia tree that were scattered about, in preparation for mowing the lawn. As I tossed them, one-by-one, into a nearby corner of the yard, Bud ran over, picked up one of them, and began to happily parade around the yard with it in his mouth.
Last night, it had been the requisite ten days since Bud’s neutering, so I gave him his first bath with the special medicated shampoo that’s supposed to kill the last vestiges of a minor skin infection on his back and underside. Just as he’s done before, he calmly stood still in the driveway while I soaked him with my garden hose, lathered him up for 10-15 minutes, rinsed him off, and then repeated the process — but I suspect that he didn’t even need that special shampoo anyway, since excellent nutrition and lots of love had already resulted in his skin looking normal and free of flakes for the past several days.
This morning, roofers arrived at 7:30 AM, to replace the roof on the house across the street. Even with his radio and fan on, Bud heard their loud banging noises, and he was scared. From the bedroom, I could hear him frantically scratching at the door that connects our garage to our kitchen. So, I took him out in the front yard, and we watched the roofers for a couple of minutes, so that he could see what was causing all of the noise. After that, he wasn’t scared any more — and, in fact, when I got home at lunch time today, he was stretched out, asleep, in his open crate, ignoring the noise.
Update, July 25, 2011: In the past few weeks, I’ve taught Bud how to sit, shake, lay down, play fetch, go in his crate on command, “stop” on command when we’re walking, eat dry dog food, and chew on rawhide bones. He loves to explore my back yard, and he’s still young enough to try to catch lizards, and still innocent enough to think that maybe he can jump eight feet straight up, to catch one up in the magnolia tree. He loves when I lay on the floor — he lays down and rolls over onto his side or his back, right up against me, and gives me kisses while I rub his chest until he falls asleep. He’s a very secure, very happy, very loved, very loving boy, all ready for a very happy, very loving home — as you can see by his brand new music video, Everybody Needs A Bud , that I shot yesterday and edited today.
Update, August 4, 2011: Every day, Bud gets a little smarter and a little sweeter. He loves everyone and every dog that he meets. If anyone stands near him and pets his head, he’ll kiss their hand. If anyone crouches down at his level and pets him, he’ll kiss their face and then quickly lie down at their feet and roll over onto his back. He loves to hunt for lizards in my back yard, even though I don’t think he’s ever caught one. Yesterday, he was sitting underneath the magnolia tree when he saw a lizard somewhere up its trunk. From a sitting position, he jumped straight up to where his snout was more than six feet off the ground. When he landed, he immediately bounced back up to the exact same spot again. If you’ve been reading these updates, then you know that, when I first found Bud, he didn’t know what rawhide bones and doggy toys were. Well, he knows what they are now. Last night, while he was laying on his side, “cuddling” with me on the floor, I alternated between putting a tennis ball and a red rubber Kong ball in his mouth. He chewed each of them in turn, but, after trying each of them two or three times, he rolled onto his feet and took the Kong ball into his open crate, so that he could chew it in his padded doggy bed. And, in the past few weeks since I taught him what they are, he’s eaten three or four foot-long rawhide bones and many crunchy doggy treats. The funny thing is that he usually only eats them when I’m there with him. If I give him a cruncy boney bone right before I leave for work, then it’s usually still sitting on the floor when I get home — but, after he’s given me kisses, he usually runs over, picks up the treat, and starts eating it as he walks back to me, as if to say, “I saved it so that you could see me eating it.”
Update, August 26, 2011: Bud is still with us and he has very clearly evolved from being a victim of abuse and neglect to being a very happy, very well-adjusted survivor.
I walk him every morning before work and every evening after supper, and he goes poop both times. And now, he’s made about a hundred doggy and human friends in our neighborhood and in the nearby county park, including Sid, an elderly gentleman who doesn’t have any pets of his own, but who brings a small bag of dry dog food to the park so that he can offer a few bits of it to Bud whenever he sees him. When we’re walking, and Bud’s at the end of his 6-foot lead, if I say “Stop,” he immediately stops walking, looks back at me, and waits for me to tell him “Okay” before he starts walking again. And if I say his name quietly, then he immediately stops following a scent or studying a nearby squirrel, and comes right to me. Of course, I immediately reward him with lots of petting and praise and, sometimes, an animal cracker from my pocket.
Thanks to high-quality food, fish oil capsules, and vitamin E, his coat is thick, full and glossy, with absolutely no evidence of the skin infection that he had on his back when I first rescued him. Everyone we meet comments on how beautiful his coat is. His ears are almost always back and down in the “smiling” position, instead of up and alert, and his tail is always up and happily curled up toward his head, instead of hanging down, like it was in parts of the video that I made of him a few days after I rescued him.
A few days ago, a young woman brought her nine-month-old daughter to meet Bud, to see how he would react to her. She stood out on the sidewalk in front of our house, in a light rain, holding the baby in her arms. Bud instantly loved the “human puppy,” and was very happy to reach up and kiss her chubby little legs, and to kiss her hand two different times (when she reached down to him). When the woman called Bud by name, he sat and shook hands with her on her command and then sat and shook hands with me on my command, before volunteering to lie down on his back (on the wet sidewalk, in the rain) for me, with the woman standing there. What a good, good boy!
Every night, I climb into Bud’s crate with him, and lay up against him. Then, with him laying on his side, I pet his head and side, and talk to him in comforting tones. He especially likes when I tell him the story of when I first found him and told him that he was a good, good boy for the very first time. When I tell him that story, he turns and lifts his head and gives me a few kisses on the face. Then I continue petting him while I calmly tell him, “Nighty-night, Bud. Nighty-night, good boy.” He closes his eyes and just absorbs the love. Then, after a couple more minutes, he lets out a big sigh, and falls asleep, while I continue to gently pet him a little more.
Update: November 30, 2011: Bud found his forever home!
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