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Wordless Wednesday #335 – Til we meet again Miss Cuppercakes

May 31, 2017 11 comments

It took a year, but Cupcake now approaches Kellie for pets. #sheltie #dogpark

Seriously, could she be any cuter?  #Cupcake

Silly kids #family

Freshly groomed and looking fine!

Hello turtle! #nature #sheltie #turtle

Sheltie girls when it comes to getting cheese.

Big sky and Cupcake

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Cupcake's Lost Dog Flyer #2

The boss and her minion. It looks like he cares, doesn't it?

Cupcake on Memorial Day 2015

Cupcake takes a break at the dog park. 4/17/14

Untitled

Cupcake's Favorite Spot

Cleaning up after some time at the park

Cupcake sniffing with Daisy IMG_9755

Til we meet again my sweet

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Wordless Wednesday #333 – Lady and the Tramp?

May 16, 2017 1 comment

Reflecting on my past year with Cupcake

December 29, 2012 22 comments

IMG_4222The other day I heard one of the radio DJs refer to this week, the week between Christmas and New Years, as the “lost week.” I suppose in some cases this is true. So many people take this week off from work that not much really gets done in terms of “real” work.

But for me, this week is a time to reflect. A time to look back on the year that has passed and to think about what is to come in the year ahead. I’m not sure why, but for some reason I have been doing a lot of reflecting on one particular dog this year – Cupcake, my sweet little Sheltie girl.

My how far she has come in this past year.

Last year, she had just returned home after being lost for 12 days. I was just happy to have her back home again. It was such a relief to know she was safe and not lost in Eagan or someplace beyond.

But this year, I find myself reflecting on her amazing progress.

Is she still a fearful dog? Yes. But, she is not the shy fearful dog I had a year ago. She has grown so much more confident  this past year.IMG_6554

I can still remember the very first day she came to stay with me (as a foster dog). She was so scared and uncertain, both of me and her new home. I remember her standing at the gate watching her former foster mom get into her car to leave and how she ran along the length of the fence, trying to find a way out, to follow her. Dawn had been such a rock in her life up until then. How sad and scared she must have been as she watched her leave.

But that Cupcake is long gone now. The one that has replaced her is so much more confident, happy and secure, not only in herself, but also in others.

IMG_7700The old Cupcake was afraid of all strangers and never would have even considered approaching someone other than me. Over this past year, I have watched her approach people she has come to know as friends (or those she deems as “safe”) as well as strangers. It seems she has learned that some of our dog park friends carry treats, and because she is treat-motivated, she will approach them to get one. At first it was only come close enough to have tit tossed to her, but now she will take them right from the person’s hands. She even approaches people she doesn’t know, if she suspects they have treats.

IMG_7726The new Cupcake also loves to play, and will tear around the house with her brother, Jasper, as they wrestle and growl and act like silly pups. (She has even been known to play a game of tug with her sister, Daisy!)

She also plays with some of the dogs at our dog park, especially Duncan, another young Sheltie, who seems to have caught her eye. She will twirl and jump and dance just to get his attention.

Watching her playful side come out has been such a joy.

IMG_2076The new Cupcake also knows the commands “sit”, “down”, “come”, “drop it” and “watch me”, and is quite good at solving some of the most difficult doggie puzzles. (She also is quite good at stealing the cat’s food, but we won’t mention that one will we?)

In the past year, she has also had the chance to experience new things, like a hike in the woods, putting her toes in a lake, walking along a beach and chasing more  squirrels and rabbits than one can count.

She has also learned to share my attention, doggie bones and her toys with her siblings. She is still the first to corner me in the bathroom, but she doesn’t mind sharing the space with Jasper if he wants to join her.

IMG_7589There is nothing that makes me smile quicker than seeing her little tail wag as she looks up at me.

I love that she will now put her paws up on the edge of the couch and paw at me to let me know she wants some attention. I love that her preferred sleeping space is right next to my bed (or on my bed) and that she wants to be where I am because that is where she feels safe.

I love that she feels safe and happy and curious and confident in her new home. I love that she knows this is her home. (I think she knew it before I did.)

The dog I adopted a year ago has turned into quite an amazing little dog. I never could have guessed she would have come this far in just a year. It makes me wonder… what will she do in the next year?

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Wordless Wednesday #117

November 27, 2012 9 comments

 

Why your lost dog may not run back to you

November 18, 2012 216 comments

Cupcake’s first day home after being lost for 12 days

I was reminded once again this past weekend how much we dog owners don’t know about missing pets. That’s not a judgement in any way,  just an observation. So few of us really know or understand what happens to a pet when they become lost.

This past weekend someone asked me why any lost dog would not just go to their owner once they saw them. It’s a good question. I think most of us just assume that our own dogs would come running to us as soon as they saw us. After all, we’ve cared for them, fed them, cuddled with them and loved them. But, sadly that is not the case for every lost dog – even your lost dog.

I first read this story (Dog Lost for Four Months Recognizes Family by Whistle)  on Life With Dogs back in October. It’s a good example of how a lost dog can become confused and disoriented when they are lost for several days or months. Luna, the dog in the story, was missing for four months. When her family finally found her again, she didn’t recognize them, and even walked away from them when they arrived to be reunited with her. It took two days, six visits and a distinctive whistle by the owner, for her to realize it was them. What had been a puzzling circumstance finally resulted in a happy reunion for all.

She was “crying and yipping the whole way,” said Julia. Luna jumped into Bruno’s arms and began licking his face.

As many of us already know, not all dogs are created equal (if they were our lives would be pretty boring!). Some dogs are happy-go-lucky, love people and other dogs, while others are much more wary and unsure. Puppy mill dogs are especially wary of strangers. They’re also more skittish. They are less likely to stick around and see if the human approaching them is “their” human or someone intending to harm them. As a result, they are much harder to catch and usually have to be trapped.

But a dog does not have to be a puppy mill dog to react this way. Many lost dogs tend to go into “survival mode”. They are frightened, unsure, hungry, tired (exhausted) and on constant alert. In many cases, they are fending for their lives. The longer they live in this state the less likely they are to recognize their owner on sight – and in fact, they are less likely to stick around and wait to see if the person approaching them is their owner.

A year ago this week, my foster dog, Cupcake, was missing. As a lost dog and owner, Cupcake and I had a lot going against us finding one another again – she was a puppy mill dog, had only been with me a little over a month, and was frightened of strangers. She was dodging traffic, coyotes and people in the twelve days she was missing. Talk about being in survival mode – she was definitely in it.

When we finally were able to see each other again it was at a warehouse loading dock. Even as people blocked all her avenues of escape, she continued to run back and forth, trying to find a way out. I was standing right there and she didn’t even recognize me. I called her name and she kept running. I asked if she wanted to go home to see Daisy and Jasper (my other two dogs) and she stopped for a second, then kept running – she was in survival mode, searching for a way out.

It wasn’t until I sat down with my body turned sideways from her, with my head bowed down and avoided eye contact with her, that she came close enough to smell me. I still remember the moment she started to realize it was me. She lifted her nose to the air and sniffed me. Then she moved closer and sniffed again. When she finally got close enough to really sniff me, and to hear my voice, she sighed. It was at that very moment she realized it was me. She leaned into me. She finally knew she was safe.

11/30/2011 – The day Cupcake was found. That’s me in back carrying her.

All lost dogs act differently. As owners, we need to know that before our pet goes missing.

We need to know that chasing a lost dog is one of the worst things we can do. It only reaffirms to the dog that people should be avoided.

So what should you do when you encounter a lost dog or your own lost dog?

  • Sit down.
  • Turn your body so your back or side is to the dog.
  • Keep your eyes averted and bow your head so as to look non-threatening.
  • Toss tasty treats (hot dogs, chicken, smelly cheese, etc.) behind you or to the side of you.
  • Don’t talk.
  • Wait patiently for the dog to approach you. Don’t make any sudden movements, but continue to toss treats.
  • Don’t grab the dog when they get close, but wait patiently and build trust.
  • Speak softly, but if they back away, stop talking and just continue to toss treats until they trust you enough to come closer.

As a dog owner, it pays to know what to do if your dog becomes lost. Below are some sites with some great tips on what to do. I really encourage you to check them out.

Lost Dog Tips

Lost Dogs-MN – Tips and Ideas

How to find a lost Sheltie – Minnesota Sheltie Rescue

How to Find Your Lost Dog (PetFinder)

Lost Dog Quick Action Plan from Granite State Dog Recovery

Cupcake – Happy to be back home.

Cupcake asks… Do you know how to Give to the Max?

November 14, 2012 5 comments

Here in Minnesota we have this unique thing called Give to the Max Day.

It’s one day

Thursday, November 15th (that’s today!)

for just 24 hours

thousands of Minnesota nonprofits come together to raise millions of dollars in just 24 hours. The idea is to bring attention to Minnesota non-profits while at the same time helping them to raise money so they can continue to give back to their communities (people and pets).

It’s also money that in many cases will help them operate for another year.

Non-profits have an added bonus for participating in Give to the Max Day… a chance to win matching dollars by winning one of the tiered grant prizes:

$12,500 prize grant*

$5,000 prize grant*

$2,500 prize grant*

$1,000 prize grant**

*Awarded to the top three nonprofit organizations which receive the most dollars during Give to the Max Day.

**Awarded to each nonprofit in 4th through 10th place.

This year there is one non-profit that is very much in need of your dollars and a chance at one of the grant prizes – Minnesota Sheltie Rescue (MNSR).

This organization is very near and dear to my heart. They walked with me, searched with me, supported me, and paid dollars out of their precious funds, to help me find my missing foster Sheltie, Cupcake. I cannot begin to tell you how much they were there for me throughout the 12 days she was missing. Do you know many rescues do that for their foster dogs? I can tell you from experience, not many.

Dawn is grateful that Minnesota Sheltie Rescue and its wonderful donors were there in her time of need. She was almost catatonic, and her coat was matted with dog poop. She was treated for ear mites, had a lipoma removed, came through complications from her spay, and had 9 teeth extracted during her dental.

But, MNSR has done much more than that.

In 2012, they rescued Shelties in need from across the country. They took in dogs left behind in shelters, strays found by strangers, and puppy mill dogs in need of a second chance. As a result, MNSR had some really huge medical bills this year. Through Oct. 31st, 2012, they paid out over $46,000.00 in veterinary costs – this was to cover spaying and neutering, teeth extractions, vaccinations, medicine, and special care for dogs with thyroid issues, seizures, and other more serious medical issues.

There has been a big increase in the number of older Shelties being released from breeding facilities (i.e., puppy mills) and, as you can imagine, most of these dogs have not been in good health. With the great generosity of past donors, MNSR had the funds to help these dogs in 2012, but now those funds have been used up.

We could really use your help.

Minnesota Sheltie Rescue is so very important to me. Won’t you help me to give back and help other Shelties in need?

You don’t have to be from Minnesota.

You don’t even have to give big (although we welcome big donations!) – $5 or $10 makes a difference – and on Give to the Max Day it makes even more of a difference because sponsors will double your donation. 

It’s so easy to do too! Just click on any one of the photos in this post or click on this link:  http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Minnesota-Sheltie-Rescue and make a donation today. Because…

It’s only one day

Thursday, November 15th

for only 24 hours

Cupcake says thank you!

Cupcake came from a puppy mill with her baby. She was terrified of people and was almost feral. She is so grateful that Minnesota Sheltie Rescue paid for her spay, her teeth extractions and the medicine she needed to help her cope with her new world. She and her mom are also very grateful that Minnesota Sheltie Rescue brought them together and helped them find one another when Cupcake was lost. She never would have found her forever home if not for MNSR. She thanks you for your donation.

Wordless Wednesday #114

November 6, 2012 16 comments

 

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