Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Boone Again

Here's looking at you kid!

Thank you everyone for your kind comments on "Boone's Story". He is quite a dog, and I'm happy I was able to give him a 'second chance' at life.

Yesterday he went to the vet for his shots, much to his dismay. Ariel also got hers, so both of them are rather subdued today. I did discover I really need to work with Boone in learning to get in and out of the truck! He hasn't been on any trips since he was a regular customer at the vet's months back. Loading him up at home was difficult, and he suddenly decided he wasn't going. Nope! Usually I lift his front feet up, and then with him helping me, lift in his rear. While difficult this works okay, but not when he decides he ain't gonna help. Getting him back in the truck at the vet's was even worse. Lift front feet up, front feet go down. Etc. etc. Finally get front feet up and rear feet are firmly planted and unmovable. Much to my consternation, we were evidently providing a show for the vet techs inside, as suddenly one appeared behind me and asked if I needed help. Oh sure! Boone was unceremoniously lifted up and deposited into the front seat, much to his consternation! I took my flustered and winded self and got in the truck with as much dignity as I could muster. Yep, definitely time for some lessons. Whew.

Boone and a Christmas Treat--yummmm

Boone loved going into the vet's. He is a 'star' there and has his own fan club. It'd been awhile since he had been in, so when I came in, one of the gal's asked me if 'this' dog had been in before. She was behind the reception desk and couldn't see. I said, 'oh yeah' and the vet says 'oh yeah'. Then the gal asks, do I know it? And I again say, 'oh yeah, I think you do'. She bursts out, 'it's not Boone is it?' Yep, it is! I replied and with that she nearly ran down one of the other techs in her desire to see the big Boone. She and Boone had a sweet little reunion and he enjoyed every minute of it. When I first took him to the vet, when he was such a horrible looking and stinking mess, I'll never forget one of the lady techs out there came over to him, kneeled down, put her arms around him and hugged him so gently. Then she told him how beautiful he was and he weakly wagged his tail at her. Now almost two years later, we are all proud and happy of how Boone has made it 'back'. Boone loves everyone, and got his share of pets from everyone in the office. He didn't even hardly notice the shots, since he was getting multiple pets at the same time!

Boone weighed in at 127 pounds! (Now do you understand why loading him in the truck has the potential to be an ordeal??) The first time I took him to the vet, he weighed 60 pounds. Yep, 60 pounds. So he has doubled his weight and then some. He isn't overweight, but I suspect that much more weight would put him in that category. He is pretty active right now, so it's not a problem yet. Which is good, because he is a four legged chow hound.

The second time I took Boone into the vet, several weeks after the initial visit, I had him scanned. He did indeed have a chip, and we were all desperately upset about this. (The reason I say this is because of the type of dog he is, and the condition he was in, we felt he might have not had a good 'home situation' to begin with) The vet techs reluctantly but correctly contacted the manufacturer, but they were closed for the day. So we all had to wait until the next day. Shortly after the vet opened the next day, they called me with the news. The chip had never been registered by his breeder or owner, and even better the people who sold the chip had not kept records and had an ownership change in the meantime. Whew. We were all pretty glad about this. I searched back issues of local papers for months back, looking for lost ads and never found anything.

So it looked like I, Collie person, had a new dog. What an adjustment! As Boone began to feel better his energy levels sky rocketed, and I had to take him for a walk everyday just to keep him from going off the charts. He chased cats and I sure didn't want to see what would ever happen if he caught one, so he was confined to a large pen with a large shed when I wasn't around. He still has to stay in his pen when I'm not home, because he still wants to run the cats off (especially the grey ones!), and I'm afraid in his exuberance he will accidentally hurt Ariel. (At almost eleven she is a bit fragile--stubborn though). However when I'm home he gets free run of the fenced yard, we still take long walks when I can, and he gets to come in the house for about five hours in the evenings. Most of my place has woven wire parameter fencing so once the sheepies are up at night, I can take the dogs for a nice run if I want. It's the best I can do and he seems pretty content with everything. Of course he would rather be with me all the time, but that isn't realistic!

When I got Boone, I contacted a breed rescue group to find out as much as I could about his breed. They were very helpful, but I came away being a little afraid of what he was capable of. High prey drive was top of the list. While this is true, and I'm very careful with him, I'm afraid it made me harder on him than I would have been on a normal dog that chased cats. In that I mean I was on his case all allot, and everything was a big deal (in my mind) if I caught him misbehaving. Since then I've settled down! ;-) I work with him allot on clicker training for 'come', since that is his weakness. He has learned wonderful basic manners and got lots of kudos from the vet people about that. He sits, lays, and never jumps on people. However if he takes off running (lets say to chase sheep along the fence) and I yell and scream, no, no, no! He looks over his shoulder and runs harder---weighing the fun against the punishment no doubt. If on the other hand he takes off running and I yell, Boone Come Here!, he will usually plow to a stop and happily run back. So I've been trained. Don't just say 'no', offer an alternative to bad behavior. Works so much better on him.

So, while Boonie was a 'free dog' he has not turned out to be cost-free. Large vet bills for surgeries and treatments, as well as food and medication quickly added up. (For the first month I fed him seven times a day, with my Mom's help during the day! These smaller meals helped him gain weight and regain strength without overloading his system.) Now he eats a more 'normal' six cups of dry and a can of dog food a day. Once he was recovered from the demodex, he was neutered. This turned out to be major as one testicle was located practically in his belly---he had about a 15 inch incision for that! However he quickly recovered and seemed to really regain his health once that was done.

Boone also has another 'friend' who I met while posting on the rescue list. For a long time she would send him dog food--very nice expensive dog food on a regular basis. Unfortunately Boone got to where he would eat it less and less, so I switched him to another brand and let her know that he just didn't want to eat it anymore! She has sent him toys and treats off and on ever since. On Christmas eve there was a package down by the gate where the postal carrier left it. Much to my surprise it wasn't to me but to Boone! ,-) Boone was thrilled with his new alligator toy and is enjoying the chewy bone. I smuggled some treats in there so Ariel would think she was getting something too!

Lastly, some people wonder why I named him "Boone". It took awhile before I ever named him. He was initially listed as 'stray dog' at the vet's and finally I had to pick a name for him after a month or two, just to get them off my back!;-)
Boone has connotations of bones in French, so it seemed to fit. But mostly I liked the strong sound of the name and of course Daniel Boone was a tough mountain man as well. It seems to fit him.

Ariel with one of her Christmas presents
(1) she hates her picture taken & (2) she doesn't want anyone to ever see her eat anything--hence 'the look')


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Thanks for the follow-up. Hard to believe he has more than doubled his weight! I feel a bit overwhelmed with the energy level and play needs of this Aussie pup we have; today I walked him around the upper pasture by Rosie's grave and sobbed for my baby. Maybe Jackson will get there someday....

Kathy said...

Boone is right where he is spposed to be...with you! :)

Janna's Page said...

I think it is incredible what you have done Tammy! :) We need more people in the world like you..

After reading what you were saying about when he was neutered, it makes me wonder if that is why his old owners, just let him go? It might explain why they never tried to find him..

I can't stand people like that. Just because a pet isn't "perfect" they get rid of it.

Now I realize that people who are breeders see it as money, etc.. But at least if they are going to get rid of puppy they could do it more responsibly than just letting them go on their own and wind up like Boone was.

I am just so grateful that he found you and you were able and willing to take him in. :)


phylliso said...

I love your Boone,he is so lucky to have you. As I`m reading ,I`m glad to find another "collie person"also.phylliso