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I am a newbie (to dogs and the board) with questions….


Sorry to just jump in like this, but we unexpectedly rescued a purebred beagle on Thursday from the pound and I have a few questions to run by those of you who have spent lots of time with them. Also, this is my first dog, I’ve only ever had cats, so I’m pretty in the dark on all fronts.

First, let me say that we LOVE our new addition to the family. She’s the single most sweet-natured animal I’ve ever met. My hubby and I have been taking a crash-course in Beagle-ometry the past few days, so we are learning the basics. Plus, she seems to be crate-trained already and loves to hang out in her crate when she’s not with the family. That’s a good sign! She's not great on the potty issue, though, so we've got our hands full with that right now.

She’s between 2 and 3, has most likely had several litters, and is scheduled to be spayed on March 14. We’ve run all the tests that we can to ensure her health, and all is good except for testing very faintly positive for heartworm. Our vet said that she’s not showing any signs of failure yet and we are committed to treating her.

My questions—at least the imminent ones—are as follows:

1) Millie (short for Millicent von Beagle) adores my husband and gets very upset when he leaves in the morning. My son and I try to give her extra attention and distract her, but her anxiety over him leaving just breaks my heart. I make sure to tell her that he’ll be back, and when he comes home he goes right to her to assure her that he has indeed returned. But will she ever come to understand that he’s not leaving her for good? Or will she suffer this forever? We believe that she was abandoned at our family business by owners who felt that she no longer served a breeding or hunting purpose. Which probably only adds to her separation anxiety.

2) We have read about them living by their noses. This raises several issues. First, we have a huge back yard that is not fenced. We’d love to eventually be able to play fetch, etc., with her, but we are very worried about her picking up a scent and taking off, never to be seen again. Right now we are only taking her out on a leash, but will we ever be able to play freely with her while we are outside in nice weather? Also, should we allow her to roll in every scent she wants to? I did yesterday and came in to find that she’d rolled in mud. I feel badly for stopping her from rolling in her beloved scents, but it could be ugly when she finds the wrong thing to roll in.

3) Ugh. She smells. Worse than the usual dog smell. The vet said that spaying her should help, and my daughter, who owns a beagle mix who was also a stray, said that it takes a few baths. Millie was filthy and I had the vet bathe her, but she still stinks. Granted, I think I’m more sensitive than many, but even my husband and son are commenting on it. Will this go away? Should I have her bathed again?

4) I screwed up Friday night and left her crate unlocked while we were gone for about two hours. In her distressed state, she scratched the front door to death and was running around the living room and pooped all over. I don’t believe that she officially went to the bathroom in the living room—I think that she was anxious and it came out while she was running around. We have, however, seen her squat to pee twice in the living room. She's not going potty outside very well for us, but we understand that she’s still nervous and her system is probably off a little bit. But the hubby read that beagles are one of the worst to have accidents indoors simply because of their amazing noses. We extracted the carpet yesterday, but she's not showing good signs of having to pee, so it's hard to read when to take her outside. Is there such a thing as taking her out too often? I think we are, and when she doesn't have to pee, she's not associating going outside with going potty.

5) We have 4 cats, one of which is just coming out of kittenhood. Millie doesn’t seem to mind them (the vet took her by the office cat before we brought Millie home to see her reaction). She will growl at them if they get too close, but surprisingly, the cats are very interested in her. So my hope is that after a week or two and things calm down, they’ll be able to at least be on the couch or bed at the same time, even if they aren’t cuddled up and snuggling. Is my hope out of line?

That’s it for now. Sorry for barging in like this and being so long-winded, but I want to be sure we’re doing what’s best for Millie and that we are all getting off on the right foot!

jennifer
 

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Hi Jennifer! :wave:

I feel comfortable in saying that since Millie has only been with you since Thursday, things will get better for all of you.

Many of us here have rescues. Many of them from unknown backgrounds carry baggage with them and sometimes, although they begin to feel comfortable with their new families, still will be visited by ghosts from the past. Love, consistency and reassurance are what is needed.

It's been my experience that female dogs are much easier to housetrain than males. The trick to housetraining is to keep a very watchful eye on her when she is loose in the house...the minute her nose goes to the ground and she starts looking around, tell her it's time to go out, or go potty (whatever terminology you use) and take her out. Even if she has just been out very recently. Needless to say, when she potties outside, lavish praise on her and let her know that she is a good girl.

I think that her separation anxiety with your husband will get better with time. For now, if possible, when it is time for him to leave, distract her...take her outside or into another room so she doesn't see him go. And when he leaves, he shouldn't make a big deal about it. While he is gone, maybe one of his unwashed (and old) shirts may give her some comfort.

By all means, get the heartworms treated...my Henry almost died from them but his case was very advanced when we got him and preventive is important no matter where you live.

Since she is an inside dog, I think her stinky smell will improve with better diet. God knows what she has been eating and that can affect how they smell. I let Henry roll onto invisible smells outside but an obvious pil'o poop is off limits for obvious reasons.

Our yard is not fenced and Henry trained easily to the invisible fence that we already have. He is not a hyper dog, he is a little slug, so that worked in his favor. They do have to be trained to such a fence and wear a special collar but it is worth it. We can take Henry outside without a leash and play football and frisbee with him.

You've only had little Millie since Thursday. It will get better as long as she feels safe and loved and is watched very closely. What is her story, anyway?

Bless you for taking her in. You will not regret it.

~Denise~
 

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Hi Jennifer

Congrats on rescuing your new girl.

Beagles are a lively breed and you will need bags full of patience, love and kindness. It can take upto six months to see changes in your girl, then gradually her real personality will emerge, I have had beagles all my life and had some rescue beagles and beags from puppies.

You get back what you put in to your dog, they are a lovely breed and love their humans and their pack.

Ginger goose has given you good advice, sometimes it will be hard work but the love and attention and devotion you will get back will be worth the effort....
 

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Hi Jennifer! A big welcome to BW and thank you for taking in a rescue. Gingergoose has said just about all I wanted to. Time will usually see an improvement, keep up the good work. Would it be possible to fence off the yard or part of it? Thats where my biggest fear would be right now.
 

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Welcome to BW, Jennifer & Millie! I, too, have a rescued beagle, Maggie, who has been with me for almost 11 years. She was a street dog before living with me and had lots of "baggage". Today she is a loving senior pup! Super thanks to you for rescuing Millie. One thought re the outside -- if fencing is not an option, maybe you could put her on a long lead when you are out with her and play games with her that way (as long as she doesn't get too tangled although she might decide that is part of the game!). Re the separation anxiety: someone here will correct if I am wrong but I think it is recommended that you not make a big deal of it when you return to the house, i.e., eventually get Millie to the point where coming and going is routine. You could do a search here on the forum for "separation anxiety" or just browse through some of the posts. This issue has been dealt with a few times recently. I can't believe no one has said it yet ... we LOVE pictures!
 

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Welcome to the BW pack!

1) It sounds like seperation anxiety. Some rescues get over it, some don't. Our Murphy did, our Summer still hasn't after 4 years.

2) First, I would always recommend a fenced in yard, or even a fenced in area of it that she can run freely in. Obedience training is a must. Recall, Drop it, and Stay commands are a must. Beagles are TRULY ruled by their noses. Once they are on a scent, they go deaf. They can follow that scent for miles before they lose it. By that time they are lost. That is why fenced in yards are recommended. I would also suggest getting her "chipped". This way if she does get loose and is found, she can be identified, even without a collar.

No, do not let her roll in other scents. She is trying to hide her scent. It is a hunting instinct. Don't feel bad about stopping her. Once she rolls in a fresh manure pile, you will understand why that behavior needs to be trained out.

3) Her "doggie" smell should go away after a few washings. There are shampoos out there that can help with this. You may even consider finding a groomer.

4) This sounds like a combination of house breaking and seperation anxiety. When you do take her out for potty runs and she does her business, praise her alot. Make sure she know you are happy. Given time it should improve.

5) Cats and a dog getting along? Only time will tell. It will come down to her accepting them. It sounds like they are fine with her already.

Good luck and keep us up on her progress.
 

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I can't really add anything to the excellent advice you have already received from everyone else, but I can at least reassure you (since we have three rescue beagles) that although it may take some time and effort on your part, the adjustments that you and Millie are going through are just that - and over time some (hopefully most) of her issues should go away or at least become more managable as she settles into your family.

Our last rescue, Popcorn, was the biggest challenge for us and her first few days with us were bordering on horrific - in particular she was so terrified of the urban environment (she was an abandoned hunting beagle from Newfoundland and we live in downtown Vancouver) that she couldn't really function outside - even taking her out for a pee before bedtime could take two or three hours before she calmed down enough to perform... but we had to stick it out and wait because otherwise she would undoubtedly end up peeing (or worse) inside overnight. There were days when I really didn't know if we had the skills or patience to keep her. But we've now had her for a year and a half and she is SOOOOO much better - she isn't 100% and some days are still a challenge, but she has made leaps and bounds when you compare how she is now to then. And this wonderful, mischievous and silly little dog has emerged - instead of the scared and shaking one we first met!

So good luck and hopefully you will have a well-adjusted and good smelling beagle in no time! (On the smell issue, Popcorn did smell a bit more "houndy" than our other two when she arrived, having not been rescued for more than a few weeks at that time, but after a few more baths and more time indoors she soon became as sweet smelling as our others - including the wonderful Fritos/Captain Crunch smell when she is warm... check out some posts on that a while back!)
 

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First off...I would get her washed once more and then never again unless she rolls in something. My 8 year old beagle has only had one bath in his entire life. Other than a good brush with a furminator once every week they really don't need anything else done for their coat, but keep close eyes on their ears which can trap bacteria like nobody's business.
Tell your husband to get ready for work on a day off and leave the room. When she calms down have him come back in and leave again (never giving her attention unless she is calm). Do that a few time making the leave time longer each time. Soon she will make a few associations like "When I'm calm Daddy comes back" and "Daddy is always coming back".
If you go the underground fence way make sure you get a professional trainer in who specializes in those products to train them. The prey drive is very strong in beagles and have been known to shoot right through those type of fences. 6' wooden fences are recommended because beagles have also been known to climb chain link fences to go after a rabbit or whatnot.
Make sure that when you leave her alone she has something to do in her crate like a stuffed frozen kong to keep her mind occupied. Turn on a radio or tv as well for background noise and don't make your leaving a big deal. Just leave with no "bye bye girl" or petting. When you arrive back home do the same thing. Put the groceries away, check the messages or flip through the mail before you let her out and take her outside for her pee. That way comings and goings are of no consequence to her and therefore not a big deal.
Take her out for a pee every 2-3 hours even though she is not a puppy and give her the chance to eliminate. If she does go crazy with treats and praise. If she makes a mistake in the house don't get mad, just distract her enought to get her outside and get her to go out there. Go crazy if she does.
Welcome to beaglehood. Your gonna love it!
 

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Hi Jennifer and Millicent von Beagle (very cute name) :wave: and welcome to Beagle World. Thank you for taking in the poor abandoned girl and giving her a forever home. I'm sure that once Millie settles in and your concerns are worked out, you will be some happy you became a beagle person. They do take a bit of patience, and as you're finding out, a rescue comes with it's own set of baggage. But it is all so worth it!
You've gotten lots of good advice, and we'll all be happy to help you any way we can as you adjust to owning a dog in general and beagle in particular . One thing I would say about letting her off lead--don't!! As many have said, beagles are ruled by their noses, and once they get a scent, they become instantly deaf to everything else--you calling them, traffic sounds, whatever. Someone suggested that if you can't fence in your yard you get a long lead for Millie. That's what I have for my Shiloh. Although when I'm outside with her in the back yard I've recently begun dropping her leash and let her meander around by herself, I stay right with her, ready to pick up the leash if she starts to wander into the next yard. But the main reason I can get away with that is because she is a bit tubby and easily caught!! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif But if I'm gonna be outside for a while, doing yard work, or if we're entertaining in the back yard, I'll put her on her lead, and she's pretty content.
As far as the separation anxiety goes, sound like you got some good tips. I also remember that some people have tried a medication called Clomicalm (or something like that) that helps her be more relaced. But you'd probably want to try behavioral things first.
We have a cat. When we got Shiloh, we had 2 cats, and Shiloh has always gotten along fine with them. She did love to chase our older cat when she was younger, not to hurt him, but just to sniff him! If and when she caught him, she would just hold him down with one paw and sniff him all over. KC pretended to be scared of her, but I think her knew he was in no danger. And she missed him as we all did when he died last summer. Surprisingly, Shiloh has never had any interest in doing an overall head to toe sniff of our younger cat!
Oh, and about Millie's smell: I found the best dog shampoo I've ever used. It's called Fresh and Clean and it's made by Lambert Kay. It has the most wonderful smell, and the smell stays on the dog for awhile. Whenever I bathe Shiloh, for days after I just grab her and bury my face in her fur!!
One last thing: we love pictures!! I imagine how busy you must be getting Millie settled in, but if you have time to snap a pic or 2, we'd love to see her!!
 

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Welcome to beagle world :wave: I can't really add on to the great advice you have already gotten,but to say it will get easier as Millie gets more settled in her new home. As for the separation anxiety distraction is great, and try not to make a big deal out of coming and going so she knows it happens and you will come back. As for baths mine only get them when they roll in stinky stuff. Good luck and a big aroooo from Hunter and Casey.
 

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I'm bumping you back to the top, Jen and Millie, because I wanted to share this poem with you (and other new members) about Rescue Dogs. Hanky Alert!

The Meaning of Rescue

Now that I'm home, bathed and fed, all nicely tucked in my warm new bed
I'll open my baggage, lest I forget, so much to carry, so much to regret
Yes, there it is right on the top - Loneliness, Sadness, Heartache and Loss
And there by my leash hides Fear and Shame
And I still have to unpack the worst one - pain
I loved them the others, the ones who left me, I wasn't good enough for they never kept me,
Will you add to my baggage, will you help me unpack
Or just look at my things and take me right back
Do you have time to help me unpack, put away my baggage and never look back
I pray that you do, I'm tired you see - but I do come with baggage
Will you still want me?
 

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Welcome to Beagle World, and thank you for rescuing Millie! :wave:

I rescued my Li'l Girl when she was a year to 18 months old. She, too, had to be spayed. She wasn't housetrained, but learned quickly. I think having other dogs to watch helped in that area.

My rule for letting beagles off leash is, DON'T! We had an experience with a previous beagle taking off after a deer. We got him back, but had several anxious days of worry.

Like others have said, time should help with her anxiety when your husband leaves. Our rescues have to get rid of baggage, and sometimes it takes awhile.

As for the smell, be sure to check her ears. Our floppy eared hounds can sometimes have ear conditions that make them smell.

I'll look forward to pictures and progress reports.
 

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Welcome to Beagle World.....may your stay here be long and happy!

First, let me say BLESS YOU for rescuing your little Millie. Many here have rescues, and ALL have experienced one or more of the issues you're dealing with. Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.....so hang in there!!

Just wanted to mention: my Maggie has an extra-strong smell when her anal glands are full. Dogs have glands around their anus which express when they have a bowel movement, but some dogs have faulty plumbing and they fill up. Maggie's glands have a dead fish odor when she's full...and we have to express them for her (yes! yuk!) A vet or groomer will also do the job if necessary.

Millie may NOT have that problem....most beagles DO NOT.....but it's worth asking your vet if her smell doesn't improve with baths.
 

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I'm with Janna regarding the amount of baths my dogs need.

I was told that too many baths dry out their skin and make them itch.

My dogs only get baths when they roll in something. And they really don't smell bad at all. However, they do spend most of their time inside so I'm sure that has alot to do with it.

But we do get skunked with leaky anal gland from time to time. Eeewww! :freak:
 

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Thanks for everything so far! Here is a little more from me—some comments and some more questions:

1. We took Millie to the pet store today. Having always had cats, this was a trip for my son (who is 7) and me! She’s awesome in the car and seems very eager to get into my husband’s pick-up truck, once she will as the weather is nicer. (We live in Ohio on Lake Erie.) She was fine, and naturally, very nosy.

2. We are boaters and my son asked me today if we could look for a lifejacket for Millie at the pet store so she can go on the boat now and again in the summer. I’d probably be willing to try it as long as she doesn’t go in the water. We’ll see about that one.

3. Millie has taken two naps on the bed with two different cats. I don’t think they’ll all ever LOVE each other, but I’m happy if they tolerate each other. Millie has barked and even nipped at Parker (the male teen-ager), but he’s a little firecracker, so we understand. Parker has never heard a bark before, and he hid for two days after Millie barked at him. He’s back out now and coming around her more, and getting back to his youngster ways. When he jumped on me this morning with Millie on my lap (he was trying to get on the window sill), she woofed and snapped at him. I think that eventually they’ll work it out. Parker is still wary, but isn’t in hiding this time.

4. What is a frozen kongo? And when you say a “lead,” is that a long leash that is tied to something else (like those screws in the ground), or just a longer hand-held leash?

5. We bought her two sheepskin beds at the store today, one for the office where she was sleeping on the floor (we spend a lot of time in here) and the other to go on the couch. We have a really long sectional and she likes to get up there sometimes and sleep, since that’s where we all hang out in the evenings. That way, if she wants to cuddle with one of us she can, but she also has her own place on the couch if she wants to be on it while we are in the other room.

6. I bought a big bath mat and some pet shampoo with oatmeal and baking soda in it. My husband said he’ll bathe her (he had a black lab before we met)--he seems pretty comfortable with the idea.

7. We are having trouble deciding where to put her crate. My husband thinks it should be in the living room, which is the nexus of our house. (Front door, where we all hang out at night, my son is in and out of it all day long, I study out there, etc.) I think it should be in our bedroom in the corner at the foot of our bed. That way, when she’s out during the day, she can be on the couch with us or in the office, but when it’s bed time, we all go into the bedroom together. She is welcome to nap with us during the day, but we’ll probably stick with the crate for night time sleeping, even after she’s house broken. She’s very happy in it and I’d like to give the cats some time to come and go without having to worry about her—especially one of our elderly cats who is at the bottom of the kitty pecking order and has been living under the bed since Millie came home.


Her story is long, so feel free to scroll: We own a self-serve car wash in town. One of my friends called me Sunday morning and asked if Tom (my husband) had seen a dog there on Sat. Tom said no, and my friend (Kary) said that she’d been there late Sat. afternoon to clean her car. She’d seen Millie but couldn’t get her to come to her.

We didn’t think much of it, we figured she was just a neighborhood dog who was hanging around. We have an employee who covers for Tom on Sundays, and Kary ended up going back to the car wash to see if the dog was still there. Our employee must have a dog, because he gave Kary some treats to try and coax the pup, again to no avail. Kary at least wanted to get her to her garage so she could take the dog to the pound on Monday—it was snowy and chilly all weekend.

On Monday morning, Tom called me, freaking out, because the dog was STILL there when he arrived for his morning rounds. So I called Kary to find out if she could run over to pick up the dog, she had a house full of kids, so she called her brother to come and watch the kids so she could go get the dog, meanwhile I’m calling the Humane Society to figure out what to do with the dog, and Tom is successfully getting her to follow him and is trying to get her into our equipment room to warm her up. Someone had already called the pound, though, because by the time we got done playing Keystone Cops, the van arrived and picked her up.

Tom had really liked her, and kept asking if we’d called to find out how she was. My son and I stopped by on Tues. to check on her, and she was dirty and stinky but came right up to us and let us pet her. Not being a dog person, I remained fairly ambivalent, but I did know that my husband had fallen for her during their short morning together. My son has been asking for a dog, and I’ve been very clear on NO. Not with a house full of cats, two of whom are elderly and one of whom is an annoying male teen-ager. But….I just hated seeing her sitting on that floor in the pound. It’s a brand-new facility with heated floors, a chip reader, the works. I just felt like she really needed a blankie in there.

The funny part is, my son and I told Tom that by Thursday morning, if her owner didn’t claim her, we were going back to pick her up. He has so much going on that I don’t think it really registered with him. On Wed. night when we broke out the leash and told him the plan (pick up the dog at 9:30 and be at the vet’s by 10:00), he came to a dead stop. “Wha----? I didn’t mean bring her to OUR house. What are we going to do with a DOG? I’m in over my head as it is, I can’t take on one more thing, you two. I bonded with her, but that’s different than bringing her to live with us.” Our son did the patented “I’ll help, I’ll walk her, I’ll feed her!” thing that kids do, and I just shrugged and looked sheepish. Thursday morning before he left for work, Tom said to both of us, “This isn’t a whim, I just want you to think really hard about bringing that dog home.”

Of course, he KNEW we were going to, but it was fair of him to voice his concerns. Millie spent the day at the vet’s office but when we came home, I told Tom how she’d walked right up to us and got in the car like she’s been doing it forever. He said, “I bet she smelled me.” The next morning he was up before the entire house doing research on beagles online. Heh.

The vet suspects she’s a dumped breeder dog or a hunting dog who lost her scent for rabbits and picked up on deer. The weird part is how she sat at the car wash ALL weekend. Kary asked if Tom had found her by the vacuums, which he had. She said that’s where she found her, so we suspect that Millie was sitting and waiting for them to come back and get her. (Odd for a beagle’s nose though, right?) She’s extremely social, so we are pretty certain she spent time around humans and other animals. She’s used to the crate, too. The only issues are going potty and eating.

She’s only pooping when Tom takes her out for a walk each night, and the entire pee issue is still up on the air. She seems VERY uninterested in her food. I know that beagles aren’t big eaters to begin with and she’s got other things on her mind (like napping), so I’m not too worried right now. She’s drinking, although again, not a lot. It’s not hot outside right now, though, and she’s not extremely active, so I’m sure she’s getting what she needs. I’m just used to my cats, who graze and drink all day.

ACK! I’ll shut up now and post….thanks again for the help. It’s good to know what we are doing correctly and what we need to try differently.

Oh, and I actually took pictures as soon as we brought her home to send out and introduce her to our friends and family. I just closed my geocities account, though, so let me find some ftp space and I’ll upload them.

Crap, I just read that poem before posting. I’m a weepy mess now!

jennifer
 

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Boy, Genie, even the "hanky alert" didn't help ... that was very powerful. Purina should use that when they show their shelter puppies promotion on TV.
Jennifer -- re the "lead" -- I have used the kind that hooks onto a big hook that goes into the ground. Maggie loves to be outside, especially sun-bathing on the driveway and I hook her up when I am working outside. I feel very secure with this. Not too long ago, someone posted about leads that you can hook onto each other to make a longer one but I am not personally familiar with those. I think the discussion was about taking dogs for hikes. Loved your story about how you came to have Millie -- looking forward to pictures!
 

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One last quick post:

I've had two foster dogs this past year, and neither one showed interest in food during the first few days.
Just wait.......WOW how things will change.....one month from now, she'll already be a different dog.
Don't fret....dogs eat when they get REALLY hungry.
 

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A kong is a big rubber bee hive shaped toy that has a hollow middle to stuff with peanut butter, cheese, treats, etc. to keep her occupied. You can freeze it to make it tougher to get out.
Beagles are probably the biggest eaters there are. They can and have eaten themselves into a roll on the floor stupor if a bag of dog food is left open for them to get at. Do not leave an unattended sandwhich anywhere or it will be gone. Some can be really picky eaters though. What brand of food is she on? If she doesn't like it try another kind or flavour.
 

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She seems very in love with people food. I can't go into the kitchen without her at my heels, checking out what I'm doing. And she about broke her neck trying to get into the recyclables last night over a container of parmesean cheese.

I gave her three different chew bones yesterday and she's not interested in any of them. I just bought a bag of Iams food (the red bag?) before we brought her home, as I wasn't sure we'd be keeping her at the time. This morning she did finally eat--the most we've seen at one sitting. She ate about a cup of her Iams, took a few slugs of water, and is napping on her office bed now.

She's not interested in her bones or toys right now, but she does like the training treats we bought. We had some beef thingies that she's loved thus far and we are going to try the Science Diet Lamb mini-bones today.

I ended up bringing her crate into the bedroom again last night. As my son pointed out--none of US like to sleep alone, so why would she? I was chuckling to myself, though.....she started out in the living room, and barked a bit until I came to get her. Once I opened the crate door, she ran up and got on the couch. I took the crate into the bedroom and called her in. She stood there looking at me like, "That's not exactly what I had in mind." She got in and curled up, but for about 15 minutes she sat in there and huffed and chuffed, as opposed to her usual content sigh. I was trying not to laugh out loud in bed, as I could practically HEAR her muttering under her breath about the way it ended up, and giving these little "whatEVer!" snuffles. She definitely had her mind on some more time on the couch or better yet, getting into bed. She kept her opinion to herself, but barely. Bwah!

I'll try to find a place to upload some pics today. She's very red/brown compared to the other dogs I see here. Hardly any black. But the pound and the vet seemed sure she's a purebred, so I'll be anxious to hear what you all think!

jennifer
 
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