Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Still Looking

Unfortunately, Buffy's potential adopter did not work out.  She got along fine at the meet and greet, but it has been determined that Buffy would do best in a quiet home with no kids.  A lot of commotion seems to stress her out, and she needs every human in the household to be able to give her strong direction and clear guidelines on her place in the pack. 
Buffy is always smiling
She needs both encouragement when she is good and swift correction when she steps out of line.  The correction does not have to be harsh as she listens very well (a firm “NO!” usually works) and is submissive when you show your disapproval.

So, Buffy is still looking for her two legged soul mate.  Fill out an application if you think you may be the one!

To see all of the available dogs at Almost Heaven, check out their page on petfinder.  They have more than just golden retrievers!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Buffy's Big Day

Buffy likes to nap
Buffy has mellowed out some since being here.  It's not that she is high energy, but she initially bothered Ollie a lot trying to determine her place in the pack.  He didn't care for this much as he is a grumpy old man and likes to be left alone.  (He often yells "get off my lawn" to the neighborhood children.)  This needling went on several times each day for around a week, yet over the past few days it has happened maybe once or twice a day.  She is definitely submissive as anytime I felt things were getting a bit too heated, it broke up easily with her falling down onto her back.  Now, while there is the occasional wrestling bout, they mostly just relax, gnaw on bones, and take naps.  (Replace "gnaw on bones" with "sipping pina coladas" and that sounds like paradise!) 

Making a friend at the dog park
Friday we went to the dog park.  She pranced around like a little princess on the mulch.  I imagine a lot of things are new (or distant memories) for her as she does the same thing on wet grass.  She sniffed some of the other dogs but mostly kept to herself, except when there were people nearby.  (Have I mentioned she loves people? Your hand may get tired from petting her.)

On Saturday, Buffy had a spa day at Bark 'n Bubbles.  She was there for over seven hours!  To be fair, the entire time was not spent on her. While she did great in the bath, she was not too fond of the dryer so had to air dry with fans. 
Happy after her spa treatment
I wish I took a picture of all the fur they took off of her.  It was quite remarkable.  She did well for nail clipping although was a little skittish when her front nails were cut.  It was a two person job, but no one seemed to mind as everyone loved her (how could you not?)  One of the groomers loved her so much, in fact, that she is considering her as a four legged soul mate!  (A groomer!)  There needs to be a meet and greet with the current dog which will happen this weekend, but if all goes well Buffy may have found her forever home!  Paws crossed! 

Dreaming of her forever home

To see all of the available dogs at Almost Heaven, check out their page on petfinder.  They have more than just golden retrievers! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fluffy Buffy

Buffy is a very sweet girl.  She is around 4-5 years old and came to Almost Heaven unspayed and heartworm positive.  Fortunately, she is now fixed and free of heartworms!  The latter has no lasting effects once it is treated (except for a few "thin" spots on her back) so don't let that deter you from considering her as your four legged soul mate.

Buffy enjoying a bone and a bed at the same time
Buffy is on heartworm preventative once a month, but every dog should be, so that makes her no different than anyone else.  What does make her somewhat different is her mix.  She is most likely a combination of golden retriever and chow chow.  Even though her temperament is more golden than chow, she should not be in a home with birds. 


In the two days Buffy has been here, I’ve learned the following:
Buffy mastered the magnetic screen door
  1. She rides well in the car.
  2. She seems to be housetrained.
  3. She is excellent on a leash.
  4. She loves dog beds.  (A minimum of one dog bed will be a requirement for adoption, but one per floor would be ideal.)
  5. She loves treats.
  6. She has a great appetite.
  7. Due to numbers 5 and 6, she is on a diet.
  8. She likes to gnaw on bones.
  9. She enjoys being furminated
  10. She snores.
  11. She gets along fine with other dogs.  (But I've only seen her with large dogs, not small ones.)
  12. She LOVES people.  (Her golden retriever part is definitely of the velcro variety.)

Buffy and Ollie are already friends
Her worst habit is that she likes to take shoes, slippers, socks, blankets, towels, etc to her bed.  Apparently in addition to being part golden and part chow, she is also part packrat. 

She has an appointment to be groomed on Saturday and will probably look like an entirely different dog.  She only weighs 68 pounds (if the scale at PetSmart is accurate) but looks like she weighs about 90 thanks to her many coats of fur.  Imagine how big she'd look if she wore horizontal stripes!  Regular grooming will be a must for this girl.

Buffy is available for adoption through Almost Heaven.  Fill out an application if you think she may be your four legged soul mate! 

To see all of the available dogs at Almost Heaven, check out their page on petfinder.  They have more than just golden retrievers!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A four legged soul mate named Ollie

I am new to fostering.  I’ve wanted to do it for as long as I can remember but circumstances always got in the way.  Finally, things fell into place and the opportunity presented itself to foster.  That foster’s name is Buffy.  But before I get to Buffy’s story, I should probably tell a little bit about my own four legged soulmate.  His name is Ollie.

The day I met Ollie
I adopted Ollie just over five years ago from Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary.  I grew up with golden retrievers and knew when it came time to have a dog of my own that’s what I would adopt.  I also knew I wanted to name him Ollie (full name Detective Oliver T. Pickles).  I used Petfinder to search for golden retrievers near me.  This is how I came across Almost Heaven.  I was browsing through all of their pictures when one stuck out.  I fell in love immediately.  I looked at his name, and it was Ollie.

His backstory is unknown.  He came from a rural shelter in southern Virginia where he didn’t have a chance of being adopted.  Fortunately, Almost Heaven found out about him and saved him from certain death.

I met him two weeks after seeing his profile and knew I was not leaving the rescue without him.  We got home and he didn’t know what to do with himself, but not in a good way.  He didn’t want anything to do with the basketful of toys he had waiting for him.  He didn’t want anything to do with food or snacks.  He didn’t want anything to do with me.  He just wanted to hide in the basement and be left alone.  I started to wonder if maybe I had made a mistake.  Perhaps this was not my four legged soul mate after all.

I gave Ollie his space but let him know he was in a safe, loving environment.  He went to the vet a few days later for a wellness check, and I got devastating news.  The vet thought he had a mass on his spleen that could rupture at any time.  They couldn’t know for sure without opening him up, but if it was a mass there was nothing they could do.  He probably wouldn’t live more than six months.  I was heartbroken as I realized how much I already loved him and wanted him to be with me for as long as possible.

Ollie at work
Ollie slowly started coming around.  He stopped spending so much time in the basement.  The day I knew he realized he was home and not going anywhere was the day I caught him sleeping on the living room couch.  It was about two weeks after I brought him home.  (The magical two weeks ... which I will discuss at a later time.)  Now he is a mama’s boy and rarely leaves my side.  He has even been dubbed my company's unofficial mascot and goes into the office about once a week.  The mass on his spleen?  Apparently it was something else as five years later he is alive and kicking (literally!  He loves to kick.)  He still has no interest in toys and takes treats on a case by case basis.  He makes me laugh every day with his silly antics whether it’s by sleeping on his back or moaning while scratching his rear-end on a bush.  I can’t imagine my life without him.
Ollie on his 5 year adoptiversary

He is also most likely not golden retriever at all but instead Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.  Perhaps that story will be told at another time, though, as I am not here to talk about Ollie (although I could all day and night).  I am here to tell you about Buffy.  Hopefully her two legged soul mate is reading this right now.  Her story is up next.

To see all of the available dogs at Almost Heaven, check out their page on petfinder.  They have more than just golden retrievers!