Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas everybody!
Today is my first xmas out of the puppy mill and I'm soooooo happy! I have a warm bed to sleep in, nice fluffy pillows to lay on, a warm radiator to nap by, delicious food, and foster brothers that like to sleep by me. Mom and dad are taking good care of me even if I have a hard time showing it.

I have good days and not-so-good days. I like to have my foster brothers and sisters around and when they're not I will start barking. When the come downstairs in the morning I'm so happy to see them that I run around wagging my tail. It's clear that I don't know how to play like other iggys. My foster brother Dinky tries to get me to play but I don't know what to do. There wasn't much joy or playfulness being in a wire cage so I never learned to play with other dogs. Sometimes I let my foster parents lay by me and approach me other times I don't. They're very patient with me.

I want to tell you about my foster brother Dinky. Dinky is one of the Wisconsin 57, which was a small house where 57 dogs lived without ever going outside. The house was so bad that it was condemned and destroyed after the dogs were taken out. There were dead dogs in the house and in the pool in the back yard. The floors were rotting from years of urine soaking through them. Some of the dogs were confined in crates in a damp basement and they had never seen the light of day. Those people appear to have been trying to breed Chi hua huas with Italian Greyhounds creating a very small iggy which is sometimes called a "chiggy". Well the product of that breeding is very cute - I must say! When Dinky was rescued he was originally going to be euthanized because he was a fear biter. Thankfully Carol S. (of IG rescue Wisconsin) took him into foster care. He's pretty much over his fear and now he thinks he's the alpha dog in this little pack. Mom and dad got him in June of this year. Dinky is very mischievious and he keeps mom and dad on their toes. He's always getting into something. The Chi hua hua side of his personality is that he only likes his people and no one else. Iggys are often standoffish at first but will warm up fairly quickly but not Dinky. He's been around the grandparents for 6 months and just recently he'll let granny pet him. They certainly cannot pick him up and he won't come to them.

This is Dinky's first xmas out of the horrible conditions he was in too.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My One Month Anniversary

I know it's hard to believe, but it's been a month since Lisa & Glenn took me home. Even though I've come a long way, I have a long way to go. I'm learning how to be an iggy living in a real house with nice people and nice (most of the time) dogs.

My potty habits continue to be pretty good. I go outside to potty but mom or dad have to carry me out there because I don't care much for winter (and I can't go down stairs yet). Especially when it's windy out. I'm learning that if I just get out there, do my business quickly, then I get back in front of the warm radiator fast. Wendy had started to train me to use a piddle pad and it must've stuck because I sometimes go to my ex-pen area, where there is a piddle pad, and use that. Foster mom is very happy that I don't potty other places in the house.

I love to eat and I'm usually starving in the morning when I first get up. Foster mom is being careful to not overfeed me so I won't get fat. I'm at a good weight now. I'm still have some fear issues and I haven't been taking treats from anyone's hand. I don't like to be picked up still and sometimes I'll pee out of fear. Once I am picked up I am pretty relaxed and will sleep on the people. I sleep reliably in my crate and will only rarely potty in there.

I'm more curious about my surroundings and I'm roaming around the house more. I have learned to go up the stairs to the second floor and sometimes I'll do that when the gate is left down and no one is looking.

My biggest issue continues to be my fear. It's not really shyness - it's fear. I will run away when people approach me and I won't come when called. The foster parents have been having people over and bringing me to the foster grandparents but I'm slow getting over this. If you have any suggestions as to what I can do to get over this please leave a comment.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Clean and shiny chompers!

Hi everbody!
Yesterday was my first dental and I didn't feel much like blogging when I got home. Foster mom took me and my foster sister, Maxie, to the Animal Medical Center in the morning. Dr. Mead did my dental and said that I had ALOT of tartar on my teeth. But what did she expect? I've never had my teeth cleaned. I also had one front tooth removed. Foster mom says that's pretty good considering she's brought other rescue dogs to the vet and one had to have 14 teeth removed. YIKES!!!! I have to take antibiotics for another week because my teeth were so bad. Mom is going to try brushing my teeth next week. We'll see how I like that. I got home from the vet, ate, and hung out in front of the radiator. I seem to have taken a small step back though. Up until yesterday I was letting the people come up to me without me running away. I would let them lay by me on the pillow. Today, though, I don't want much to do with them. I tremble when I'm picked up and I run away when they approach. Except when it's eating time. Then I'm hanging around the kitchen with the other dogs. I had a heartworm check at the vet's (negative) and I was given my distemper and rabies shots.

My poor foster sister, Maxie, had to have one of her large upper and lower canines removed from one side. She had to have stitiches to close the gapping holes. She's on antibiotics too. Today she acts like nothing happened as she's running around and yapping like she always does.

I found out a little more info on the puppy mill I was at. Wendy told foster dad that they shoot dogs that they don't want anymore or defective puppys. I'm so lucky that somehow I got out without being shot. How can people be so wildly opposite? How can there be people in the world that confine dogs to wire pens, starve them, deprive them of medical care, breed them over and over, and then shoot them? And then there are people that selflessly give of their time and love to care for these same dogs? I don't think I'll ever understand people.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Week 2 - So good so far!

It's been one week since I blogged last. Nothing earthshattering this week unless you are the type of "dog nut" that gets excited when a dog poops outside for the first time! Yup....I pooped outside, IN THE SNOW, this week!! The foster parents were so excited. So excited that I thought they were going to take a picture of it. Fortunately for all of you they didn't.

My stomach has been good. I'm very hungry, especially in the morning, when I first get up. I think what ever I had is gone now. I have to start taking clindamycin tomorrow in preparation for my dental next Wednesday. I finished the other antibiotic I was on.

So let's see, what else happened this week..oh ya..I found my voice and have been barking. Foster dad leaves me in my crate in the morning while he gets the other dogs settled and then he takes me out. Well I don't like to be left in my crate so I've started barking when he leaves me in there. It's not a bark like the other iggys - more like a hound dog bark. Foster mom says that it'll become more like an iggy as time goes on.

My favorite thing to do is to lay on the pillow by the radiator (see pictures). I like to spend most of my day there. In fact if mom and dad put me in the ex-pen I'll get bratty and bite and pull at the gate so I can get to MY pillow.

I'm still very skittish around people. I will run when approached and cower when reached for. I don't fight when I'm held and I will sleep in their lap once I'm there. I just don't like to get there. Others in rescue say that puppy mill dogs, like me, cower when reached for because nothing good ever became of being picked up at a puppy mill.

I went to the foster grandparent's house for an afternoon this week. Mom says I need alot of socialization so they are taking me to new places. I had a fun afternoon with Molly and laying on the couch.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Day 7 - One step forward

Hi everybody!
I"m having a good day so far today. I was hungry this morning and ate breakfast heartily!! In fact I was begging dad to feed me when I woke up. I was hanging around the kitchen giving him my "sad eye" look so he would feed me early. I couldn't wait for dinner time. I like the wet food but I don't care much for the kibble. I'm much more perky. I've been walking around the house on my own and sleeping with the people. I'm good with the antibiotics and have been drinking water.

So today is my one week anniversary here. It's been an eventful week and I'm hoping that next week will be better.

Foster mom & dad got more info on me today. I did live in a small chicken-wire enclosure where I could not stand up all the way and that makes me stand a little funny now. It's like I'm crouching down a little. Dr. Mead said that my hip joints are O.K. though. I have callouses and scars on my back legs from being in the cage as well. I was filthy dirty when Wendy got me but I was so scared she could only wipe me down with a washcloth. I was so, so scared. I would bite, and kick, and poop, and pee whenever someone tried to pick me up. I bet the foster parents are happy that I'm not like that anymore.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Day 6 - Trip to the emergency vet!

Things went from O.K. to worse this morning. I had a blood and mucous in my stool again and I didn't eat any breakfast. I really haven't eaten much for the last 4 days and foster mom and dad were getting worried. They know that a dog will rarely go beyond three days without eating unless something is wrong. Also I didn't want to drink any water this morning. Foster mom had a quick telephone consultation with the wise Kim B. and then she decided to take me to the vet. Well going to the vet isn't a 5 minute car ride, no, not here in the U.P. Going to the vet on a Saturday means calling the vet in Marquette (2 hours away) to arrange an emergency visit then packing up foster dad, Dinky, foster mom, and me. It's a shame that out of the three vets that are closer, none do after hours call or Saturday office hours.

We saw Dr. Mead at the Animal Medical Center who was very nice. She was very thorough in her exam. Maybe tooo thorough. I didn't expect to have that LARGE plastic scoop put in my "you know where". Dr. Mead says I have roundworm and she put me on medicine for that. She also gave me an antibiotic that I have to be on for a week in case I have colitis. She also gave me IV fluids under the skin of my back because I was a little dehydrated. She said my teeth are real bad so I'll have to be on a different antibiotic for 3 days before my dental and for 7 days after. Dr. Mead also commented that my left front leg is deviated and it looks like it was broken at one time and I wasn't taken to a doctor for proper care so it healed wrong.

The great news is that when I got home mom gave me some special, low-residue, food that Dr. Mead gave us and I ate it all!! I think the fluids really helped me alot.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Day 5 - Baby steps

Well Thanksgiving is over and I did GREAT! I was very excited to see foster grandma & grandpa's West Highland Terrier - Molly. I wagged my tail more when she was around then at any time since I've been out of the mill. The foster grandparents thought I was very cute and they fawned over me for quite awhile. I let them pet me too!

My diarrhea has stopped and I'm starting to eat again. I didn't eat much but I am eating. I do like the rawhide and I enjoyed one for awhile this morning - kinda of a pre-breakfast snack.

I'm still very timid and I cower when foster mom comes to get me but I do like it when she picks me up and I can sleep on her lap. Which I did most of the afternoon today. This morning I went and laid on the big dog pillow all by myself. I do need to go back to my safe zone as I feel comfortable there. I can check out all the action in the house without feeling threatened.

It's Friday so that means I get to be with foster dad all weekend. I wonder when they are going to let me sleep in bed in the mornings like the other iggys do after they potty.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Day 4 - Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! This is my first thanksgiving that's going to be happy and I'm looking forward to many more!!

I'm feeling somewhat better. My diarrhea has stopped but I still don't feel much like eating. I slept good and I've been a little more active today.

I have so much to be thankful for and so many wonderful people to to thank, so here goes...

First of all I am thankful for Wendy K. of Spencer Animal Rescue who was the first to get me and took such wonderful care of me. Thanks to all the volunteers of SAR who work tirelessly and selflessly to care for animals in need.

Next I would like to thank (again) Cari B. and Sue H. who took time out their weekend to drive around Illinois and Wisconsin (at your own expense) to transport me so I could go home with my foster family. Thank you for your all your kindness and dedication.

I also want to thank Kim B. who helped to cooridnate the transport and who first told Glenn & Lisa about me. Kim has been a neverending source of both inspiration and assistance for Glenn & Lisa. I have to also thank all of the volunteers with Italian Greyhound Rescue. They give generously of their time (and money) to help all the iggys that need help. Thank you to all the IG rescue supporters that have donated time, money, and supplies over the years. It's these simple acts of generosity that allows the rescue volunteers to keep doing what they do.

I am thankful for all the rescue groups, Humane Societys, the ASPCA, shelters, and individuals that rescue, care for, and adopt out dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, turtles, etc.. What wonderful work you all do. As someone once said "Saving the life of one animal won't change theworld, but the world will certainly change for that one animal."

Thank you to my foster brothers and sisters; Maxie, Lucy, Sidney, & Dinky. My foster parents do alot but it's you guys that will really do the work of teaching me to be an iggy.

And to my foster parents, Lisa & Glenn, I may act timid and shellshocked but I appreciate your neverending patience and love.

Happy Thanksgiving all....if you have a pet give him or her a big hug and kiss for me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Day 3 - Still feeling poopy!!

I'm still not 100%. I'm not hungry and haven't eaten today. I had more diarrhea with mucus last night and this morning. Maybe I have colitis like foster mom and dad say. They gave me medicine and are going to put me on a bland diet. If I get worse they are going to try to get me into the doctor sooner.

Even though I don't feel great I am exploring the house a little more. I have a crate with an ex-pen around it so I can go back to this "safe zone" if I get too anxious. I spent the afternoon on mom and dad's lap. I love to lay by them and let them scratch my ears. I fell asleep on mom for awhile and I enjoyed my nap in her arms. My foster brothers and sisters love the rawhide and I did lick one for awhile. I never had treats of my own.

I lived the first 5 years of my life in a wire crate and now I have something they call "splay toes". My toes spread out when I walk because that was how I had to walk around in the small wire crate I was confined in. Hopefully that will go away.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Day 2 - One step back

I don't think I feel all that well today. They took my temperature before bed last night because I felt warm but it was normal - no fever. In the middle of the night I had diarrhea and foster mom had to come clean out my crate. I was very embarassed as I don't like to mess my crate but I couldn't help it. Maybe it's all the different foods I've been getting over the past weeks. I ate breakfast but I don't want to eat any treats. I don't feel very social today and I'm spending alot of the day by myself in a crate with the door open. My foster brother Dinky stops by to sniff me from time to time. I think he likes me as he doesn't tease me. I hope that I'm not getting any sicker. I've been good with pottying outside and now I've learned to climb the 4 steps up into the kitchen from the garage. I'm very proud of that.

I ate most of my dinner tonight but I had another bout of diarrhea..sorry mom..I hope you weren't all that partial to that rug :( Mom gave me a dose of Pepto-Bismol so hopefully I'll stop pooping in the house.

I did sit with my foster dad this morning before he went to work as I like to snuggle up close and let the people scratch my ears.

Maybe I'll feel better this evening.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Day 1 - First day home.

My name is Violet, actually I don't think I really had a name but Violet is the name that my new foster parents gave me. Two weeks ago I was in a puppy mill in Missouri. I was rescued by an all-breed rescue group in Illinois who cared for me for two weeks while they worked to find a place for me in Italian Greyhound Rescue. I have been very scared and bewildered. I was taken out of the only enviroment I knew and was brought to a strange house with strange smells and strange people and strange dogs. Wendy took very good care of me there even though I don't know what's going on. Thank you Wendy for taking me in and saving my life.

A very nice lady named Cari came and got me and I spent Saturday night at her house with her iggys. Cari gave me chicken and it was delicious!!! The next day Cari brought me to another nice lady named Sue who drove me to Fond du lac, Wisconsin where my foster parents picked me up. Thank you Cari and Sue for helping me when I could not help myself.

My foster parents house is full of iggys. I have two new foster brothers; Sidney and Dinky and two foster sisters; Maxie and Lucy. They don't pay much attention to me yet. I spent the few hours before bedtime exploring the house and sitting in foster mom's lap - I love to be held! I didn't get any human attention in Missouri and it sometimes feels strange but I love to have my ears scratched!! I saw my reflection today for the first time and I thought it was another dog and foster mom laughed when I bumped my head against the glass because I didn't know it was me. I have never lived in a house so I don't know how to use the stairs, how to jump up onto and off stuff, or all the other stuff iggys do.

Foster mom put me into a nice warm, comfy crate and I slept all night.

Foster mom gave me a bath this morning and I didn't care much for that all :( I've never been in in a bathtub but foster mom kept me calm and cleaned me up real good. She also clipped my very long nails. The ones in the back were so long that it hurt for me to walk on them. It feels much better now. I still feel very uncomfortable with all the new stuff here but I do like my foster mom and I'll wag may tail at her once in awhile. They have good food here and I ate all of my breakfast. My foster brothers and sisters go potty outside, even if it's snowing, and if they can do it then I can do it too.

I have to see the doctor next Monday :(