leopardwolf: (Default)
Went to see another potential foster this evening. Was expecting a 90lb+ dog and the pics even looked it. The dog had lost a lot of weight while in shelter they claimed from depression or whatever. He was a little taller than Ember, and I could imagine if he did put on 20lbs he might be okay for the work. He was perfect with other dogs, cats, kids, living with them all at the foster house. He seemed fine, just lacking in some leash manners but not horrible. So I said I would give him a shot. Stopped by their local Petco for supplies. While fitting a step in harness to this dog, he became reactive. I think it was the way I was touching him or the place around the hind legs and groin area trying to repositioning his body and legs so I could get a better angle to slip on the harness and adjust it. He was stressing some while in the store, but still took treats. He had tensed up and I heard a low growl, so I stopped and watched him. There were people across from us making a bit of noise and they had a dog trying to get closer, so I thought it may have been the other dog I heard. I started to reach back for the hind end to loop the harness through and he tensed again and turned his head slightly so I stopped again until he relaxed and was slack jaw. Instead of leaning in to loop the harness as I had originally planned to ( which would have put my head/face right in line if he swung around on me ), I angled one arm low and came around with the other to feel at his leg and hip, wondering if he was in pain. I moved his leg slightly with my hand and there was a throaty snarl and he was turning to latch for my arm. I managed to block him with the arm I had angled against his chest for safety and held the collar so he couldn't jerk away and try again. When he realized he was partly restrained he outburst with a lot of snarling and a warning bark that had some people coming over to see if everything was okay. Which was pretty embarrassing because I looked like some idiot who couldn't control their dog. That kind of reaction to such simple handling is a serious red flag, and probably part of the reason he ended up in the shelter to begin with. I couldn't risk it. I brought him back to the foster. Goodness forbid if someone else starts to take him home like I did, and is not as dog savvy, and ends up getting nailed by him. I told them what he had done and why I had to bring him back, but I don't think they took it seriously. He was the last dog on my list in the area to check. Another 15 dogs down. All I keep getting around here is heartworm positive and severe behavior issues dogs. That disqualifies them as service dogs flat out. I can't afford to put money out to try another puppy. Going to curl up and cry away my frustrations.
leopardwolf: (Default)
A friend offered to watch Chakotay so I could "test drive" some foster dogs from the local shelters or rescues and such. I have been looking for months, much how I did when I went looking for and found Journey. Nothing in the local area young enough, big enough or heartworm negative. I came across a listing for a dog claiming he was a Lab X Mastiff mix, which I thought was perfect for size and possible good characteristics. Went to see him... the dog was smaller than Ember, and more of a Pitty mix. He was beautiful and beautiful personality, but too small. So I asked to see what else they had. Only one really fitting big enough was an American Bulldog. Had good personality and some basic obedience, we tried cat testing in the cat room and he didn't seem interested in them and even went up to sniff one cage and got nailed and didn't even react, just turned away. Perfect I thought. Went back to test him with Ember and they liked each other. Okay, willing to give him a chance. He doesn't weigh 70lbs like we thought by the size of him, but 103lbs! Mega perfect! Find out he's heartworm positive. Nrgh. Okay. Shelter is willing to work with me, so I agree to try him on foster. Always cautious when introducing strange dogs to my cats, especially one as big and strong as him....he gets excited when he realizes they are there, and it is prey drive excitement. I tried a few different approaches to get him to calm and ignore them, which he actually caught on to amazingly well when realizing he got yummy things for ignoring the cats. But he kept doing the eerie freeze/silence/stare predatory stalking behavior thing. He also tried to nip at Wasabi through the kennel when Wa came over to politely say hello ( if the bars had not been there between them the dog would have made contact, which is very dangerous ). I can't risk that with my cats. I can't risk he go after some other random animal in public and risk dragging me down or worse. I am totally fine working with large, powerful dogs. I have all my life. But at the same time I can't risk injury to myself to fight against trying to reshape that kind of prey drive on a dog that big. I hate to say it, but I don't have the time or energy or finances to do so. So I will be bringing him back tomorrow. Back to square one. It is getting harder and harder for Ember to do what I need her to do for me, and I am afraid she'd work herself to death if I didn't stop her. I am afraid of facing being in public without a service dog after all the freedom and peace of mind I have had with my partners, but I am running out of time and options. Fundraisers don't work ( I can't even help save a cat with a broken leg fast enough). The waiting list for CPL or any program is going to be longer than I can wait, and I don't have $5k-$7k just to travel for team training. I don't even have $2k to get a well bred pup with health guarantee (if something is wrong breeder will take it back and replace it and their parents are screened for HD/ED and temperament tested CGC and above). I feel like just totally giving up. I can't do it anymore.
leopardwolf: (Default)
EDIT: Update On Hope Cat: Great news! Radiology came back clean!! No broken bones. Just really deep punctures. The inflammation is pretty bad and there is some infection, so she has been started on antibiotics. Once that reduces the swelling and everything they will assess if there is any neurological damage. She will be FeLV/FIV tested and put up for adoption. Thank you so much to everyone for sharing her story, for your donations, your prays and positive thoughts for her! Since no major surgery was needed afterall, I will be refunding donations and taking down the emergency fundraiser. Thank you again! --------------------- Writing this exhausted and half asleep to get word out ASAP. I got involved with a cat rescue where cat ended up having badly broken leg and was in shock but injury is old come to find out but she was clearly in pain and distress and no use of leg. So I took her to SPCA clinic and they directed me to the shelter portion for a program they have doing 3 day holds to try and find owner and vet/stabilize cat. But she probably needs amputation. I set up a GoFundMe and will spread it like wildfire to hope we can raise the money to help her because the SPCA program might not have funds and if they deem her not adoptable they would otherwise euthanize her, even if she would be adoptable after the surgery and recovery.
leopardwolf: (Default)
As I mentioned in my last post, I recently took a trip to Pennsylvania to attend a CPL support class and meet some of their dogs and working teams and to get some hands on participation. I found out all the alert dogs they had available have been paired with other people that were on the waiting list ahead of me, and there are still others waiting. So I wouldn't be getting paired with a dog this year unless they came across one from another source, which is unlikely.

A few days before our flight home, my friend Christy messages me to ask if I had found any new prospects, since she knew what had happened with Journey washing out from the hip dysplasia. I told her what I had just learned from CPL.

It was then that she told me her family had come into the possession of a little male German Shepherd puppy, and that they wanted to give him to me if I wanted him. They know how valuable service dogs are, Christy being an owner-trainer herself.






Shocked and humbled by their offer, but very hesitant to try again because of what happened with Journey and the hip dysplasia, Mike and I began doing some serious talking and considering. It could be up to 2yrs before CPL might find the right dog to pair me with.

I'm not sure how much longer Ember will be able to work. She's starting to show signs of her age when she works on top of her damaged toe issue. She won't be around forever, as much as I hate to think that way. She's 10yrs old, and most service dogs retire around this age.

On top of that, I have to come up with over $5,000 just so I can go and get a dog when CPL finds one to pair me with. That covers the expense of hotel for a month and some other expenses, but there is also needing to pay for travel expenses for myself and someone to come with me, which is another issue.

I need someone to be with me during the entire month of team training. I originally thought mom would be able to do it, but she has to take care of my grandmother and their dog, who cannot be left alone. Mike and my aunt cannot take that long off work. There aren't many other options that won't be awkward or expensive unless I can find a friend or volunteer to go with me.

So after discussing this with family, we finally decided it was worth the risk to try again with a new puppy and for me to owner-train it in hopes it will work out.

Our reasons were pretty simple. If this new puppy works out, I save $5,000 and the stress of having to somehow raise such a large sum all at once, possibly on very short notice, to afford the travel and hotel expenses to stay the month for team training at CPL, in the event I couldn't find volunteer housing or other ways to save on cost. Even if I could I am still looking at over $2,000 for expenses.

If by some stroke of luck CPL does find a dog to pair me with *before* I finish training this puppy and have a chance to see if he'll really work out as an assistance dog, then I always have the option to rehome him if necessary like I did with Journey.

If I end up having to wait nearly 2yrs anyway in hopes of being matched with a CPL dog, we should know by then or even before then if this new pup will work out.

He comes from working lines, his parents look solid and no history of issues, and his paws are huge for his size. He's going to be a good sized dog when he grows up and fills out. He's a lot like Journey in a lot of ways, but also vastly different in many others. He's insanely smart and responsive and already catching on to things fast like Journey did, and he is just making 7 weeks old.

Still, our experience with Journey makes this a very difficult decision. To put that much into a dog only to find out the hip dysplasia is there. I would rather know sooner than later, and there is some sort of version of the OFA hip/elbow screening that can actually be run on puppies instead of having to wait till they are almost 2yrs old for growth plates to close.

The problem is that testing is very expensive from what I understand. It would be worth it for peace of mind to know the dog I am putting work into is proven solid. But on the other hand it would be heartbreaking to spend that much money on the testing only to have worst fears confirmed and find out I am right back to square one again, and with all funds exhausted.


Either way, I will still be on CPL's waiting list. As long as I keep following up regularly and meet their criteria, I will still have the option of getting a dog through them in the future.

Now I just need to come up with a good name for this little guy.



I am still keeping the fundraising active. It can be found here:


http://www.youcaring.com/brittney-steptoe-428674


I may still need the full amount for getting a dog from CPL, either now or in the future. In the meantime I will also need to cover puppy vet costs and related expenses as the pup matures and for x-ray expenses. Any help with this is greatly appreciated.

Poor Possum

Sunday, June 1st, 2014 12:54 am
leopardwolf: (Default)
Coming home tonight, about to make the turn to come back to the house and see something on the curb of the median. The car in front of me hits it. It was a possum. I managed to miss it and so did the car behind me because I slowed down and breaked suddenly and swerved.

Ran inside after I parked in the driveway, grabbed a broom and large upright/stick dustpan and ran back out with my aunt looking at me like "WTF are you doing?" and me calling back that I'd explain after.

I ran back across the street, managed to find it, still alive but hard to tell how badly hurt. There was some blood but otherwise nothing ripped that I could see and nothing dripping all over. Tried getting it on the dustpan with it hissing and chorking and making horrid angry noises. Managed to scoop/guide the possum up onto the median. The road is 4 lane divided by median, 2 lanes each side.

Dustpan broke when I tried to pick the possum up in it because it was so heavy... ran back across the street and grabbed the only thing I could... old jaw action poop-scoop my aunt has off to the side and is actually pretty clean ( it is old and not used much )... run back across the street, put the jaws on either side of possum and scooped it up, and proceeded to carry it back to our side of the street, set it down a time or two to rest. Managed to get it back to the dark alley on the side of the house and placed it by a bush, which it crawled under. It was snarking at me the whole time and despite a slight limp it looked okay and moved okay.

My ankle is *screaming* at me for attempting to jog/run on it when it was already very angry. But at least the possum is away from the road now. Hopefully it'll recover and move on its way overnight.

Profile

leopardwolf: (Default)
LeopardWolf - Lhunpaurwen - Lhunie

April 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
23 45678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Syndicate

RSS Atom
Page generated Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 10:48 pm

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags