About The Foster Zoo

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We have decided to blog our adventures again. So much has changed since we last blogged. Bella and Shiloh both went to their forever homes and they are in wonderful families. June Bug got adopted. We quit fostering dogs after those adoptions because Tanker's epilepsy got bad. We quit doing therapy dog work because Tanker's epilepsy got bad. Tanker passed away June 9th, 2013. We adopted a senior border collie named Shania Tankerbelle in his memory. We still have our two cats, Sweet Pea and Little Bit. Wes has started rescuing pitiful bettas from Wal-Mart and we currently have seven. We have a camper. We camp. We have focused on giving our animals the best lives possible. We are The Foster Zoo Crew and we like to have fun.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Reaching Puppy Training Goals!

I am a proud puppy training fool today!!!  I have been working on "wait" with the pups.  I don't do it the way I'm supposed to.  I do it here and there around the house.  They learn a lot from Topher and Tanker when I tell them to "wait."  My biggest "official" training of "wait" is when they eat.  I make them sit.  I tell them "wait" and give them the finger...no, not give them the finger...give them the wait hand signal, which is putting my pointer finger up.  I lower the bowl in front of them to the point that I know they won't move, and then I praise them.  Everyday I am able to get the bowl lower and lower to the ground without them jumping in excitement to eat like they hadn't eaten in days.  Today I used the "wait" command when I least expected them to obey it.  It was storming outside and they had just woken up.  I knew I needed to get them out so that we didn't have any accidents indoors.  When we came back to the door to come in, I made them sit, gave them the wait signal, and told them to "wait."  I opened the door and got the towel.  THEY WAITED!!!!  When I turned around they were all still sitting there.  Bella got a little distracted and walked off to the side, but none of them came running in the door.  I was very proud of my puppies.

Another sort of proud moment.  When we went out, Shiloh did not want to leave her spot under the bay window and get wet.  I had left the back door open and heard the weather alert radio go off for a thunderstorm warning.  I decided to bring them in.  I put a potty pad down, pointed to it, and told Shiloh to "go potty."  She went over to it and went potty.  I would have much rather her gone outside, but I still thought it was pretty cool how well she listened to me.

I feel like I am finally breaking through the puppy/human barrier.  I am starting to speak their language.  I have earned their trust and they are listening to me more and more.  That is a big moment of achievement for me when I train a dog.  Everything from that moment on seems to stick with them.  A bond is formed between the dog and handler.  Life is easy from here on out, right?

Topher is having too much fun raising puppies.  I think he thinks he is a puppy too.  This is what play time looks like.  Normally I would put them outside when they get this rough, but it's wet outside.





Topher is like the puppy coach.  He makes sure they are doing what they are supposed to and he puts them in their place when they misbehave.  I caught it on video today.  Shiloh was playing with a cat toy.  Bella walked over to steal it and Topher made Bella go away.  He's such a unique dog.  Nobody is going to get in trouble in his house.  This is the Foster Zoo where we are all friends.


Good Topher!


Today was very, very hot again.  Wes and I did not get up until 12:30 because we didn't go to bed until about 3:30 this morning.  Shiloh and Bella slept pretty well in their crates.  We moved the crates where they are both facing the bed.  I think Shiloh wants to make sure that I am still in the room.  She has become pretty attached to me.  It's something we need to work on more.  When Wes starts getting a little more energy and we take them to Lowes and the mall to work them, I will have him take Shiloh and I'll take Bella.  It's good for a dog to be trusting and dependent on their handlers to make decisions, but not dependent on them for their confidence.  That's what I am afraid is happening with Shiloh.

It was so hot today that Shiloh went out back and found a hose sprayer from somewhere (must have been left by the previous owners) and was chewing on it.  Maybe she was looking for water??





Topher layed in the little holes they dug under the bay window.  It must be cool laying in the dirt.




Once Wes left for work, the entire Zoo Crew napped in the living room for about an hour.











Then they played, then they napped, then we went outside, then we worked on commands, then they napped, then they played....

Then it thunderstormed and brought hail.  We had no tornadoes.  I guess the same storm that brought us hail caused the tornadoes in Massachusetts.  The puppies slept through the storm. 





We did have to go out in the beginning, and everybody got wet.







Water is nothing you can't dry off from by laying on the air conditioner vent.






There are two things I need to work harder on.  1) checking out the window and making sure the neighbor's dogs aren't out, and 2) teaching the puppies to ring the bell.

The neighbor's chow is out a lot and she is a little aggressive.  The puppies are starting to react more to her and I do not want them catching onto that behavior.  I put up a note on the door to remind myself of these two steps.





That's all for today.  More training to be done tomorrow.  Wes goes back to the doctor for a recheck on this Lyme Disease he has.  Poor guy.  He is going to try and get something to help with his fatigue.  He is tired all the time and his joints are still hurting him.  He is back to work full-time now and is doing okay with it.  He comes home and sleeps every minute that he is home.  It is taking a toll on him.  I keep hoping and praying that it gets better soon. 

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