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by Kyler Laird last modified 2008-10-02 12:13

Bichon Frise mix, male

joined us: 2008-08-20 (4816 days ago)

This dog has been adopted.

dogs: Bizet/Bastian

2008-08-20: welcoming Bizet by Kyler Laird
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Kitty gives me a lot of grief because she always tells me to get small dogs and I end up with big guys. When I was at AHHS with Conner and Oscar I learned that the shelter had a bunch of small dogs in small cages in the garage because they had no space for them elsewhere. I took a look and immediately noticed Bizet. He seemed like a nice guy but I was busy with the other dogs so I didn't spend much time at all with him then.

I returned to the shelter this morning to check Bizet. He seems like a happy amenable guy and he's not yappy. I got him to the clinic and asked that he be groomed and get a medical checkout while I was out celebrating Kitty's birthday. We returned to find a "naked" dog ((He was terribly matted.) but he's a sweetie.

We learned that he has a lump on his side and it's tender so we're going to have that checked when he's neutered.  Before we left him at the kennel I pulled Peyton and Judo to let them all play for awhile.  All three of the dogs did well together.  Bizet did not seem to be intimidated by them.

2008-08-22: playgroups by Kyler Laird
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I returned from the farm just in time to load the dogs and head to the park. The kennel dogs were already out playing. Bizet was with the little dogs. We joined the bigger dogs in the main area. All the dogs there were cool so I brought Bizet over to join us.

Dobky and Bob were a bit too interested in Bizet. Once, when Dobky was chasing Bizet Peyton broadsided him. I could imagine that he was "splitting" - trying to diffuse the situation.

Some young friends joined us and did a great job with the dogs. It was a good night.

2008-08-23: Purdue students visit by Kyler Laird

Toward the end of last semester some Purdue students contacted me about working with the dogs. What a wonderful opportunity! I've always had this hope that I could get students involved with working the dogs and I know there are students on campus who miss their own dogs or wish they could have their own but can't because of their housing, schedules, etc. The students took a couple of the dogs out for tours of campus last year and did a great job with the dogs. I looked forward to their return - and today I got the call!

The ladies were already at playgroups when I arrived. We talked about the current group of dogs and some of the changes coming to the group. There's still a lot to resolve but I'm excited about getting more people involved and getting dogs on campus for socialization. There are wonderful possibilities.

2008-09-08: white dogs come home by Kyler Laird

Dexter spent a week with Onyx and her owner and returned home with us after playgroups yesterday. It sounded like he did alright but was too controlling of Onyx inside. I've seen him start to do that at home and I neglected to warn of this behavior.

Bizet has been at the kennel for a couple weeks and seemed stressed. It didn't help that he was in isolation for the first week due to concern he might have kennel cough. He was neutered about a week ago and was getting along well but he was straining and had loose stools, and he had lots of "eye gunk" and tear stains. And he's soooo needy. I wanted to give him some attention.

I had a family in mind ever since I saw Bizet. I contacted them to see if they had any interest and they came to playgroups yesterday to meet Bizet. Bizet was in rough shape and certainly didn't look his best but they decided they'd like to work with him. The family needed to finish some painting at home before Bizet arrives so we took him home for the night. I thought it would be good for us to get a better idea of his in-home habits before he goes out anyway.

I'm pleased to report that Bizet has been a jewel at home. Bob (the Husky) is constantly eyeing him but they're doing well. (Bizet is on the bed next to me as I type. Bob is lying on the floor watching him intently.) Bizet had no accidents or even close calls while he was free in the house. He sticks very close to me at all times so it's easy to keep an eye on him but he was good about relieving himself when he went out with the other dogs. He was still straining last night with loose stools but this morning Kitty reported he was doing great!

Last night Bizet stayed in a plastic kennel while we went to dinner and slept in it overnight. He goes into it without a fuss but does bark/whine for awhile. Once he settled last night that was it - we slept through the night! (That's a first in a very long time.)

This morning as I started the shower Bizet poked his head in it so I invited him to join me. He seemed to enjoy getting bathed. After working with the big dogs who buck and pace in the tub it was a wonderful change to have a little dog who just stands in place and savors the cleaning. Kitty towel dried Bizet and in a few minutes he was in bed rolling in the pillows but already dry.

Like so many small dogs, Bizet likes to jump on people, especially when big dogs surround him. I'm working on that. He does like to simply be held. (Right now he's holding my arm with his front legs and resting his head on my belly and laptop.) I think Bizet is going to make a great family dog.

2008-09-10: rewards of rescue by Kyler Laird

When I first saw Bizet I had a special family in mind for him. It's dangerous to have a plan to place a dog with a specific family, especially friends, but I really wanted to make it work. Kitty and I delivered Bizet to this family a couple nights ago and last night we visited him (along with Marley) to see how he'd done.

We met Bizet, now Bastian, returning from a walk with his girl. Seeing him in his new home was quite a treat. He'd improved dramatically while at our house the night we pulled him from the kennel but now he reminded me of some delightful small dogs I've known who have grown up with their families. He was relaxed and confident and had been behaving wonderfully. Normally I try to impress upon new families that they need to keep constant close supervision of new dogs but here was a dog who was free to roam the house yet kept near his people. He seemed like he'd been there all his life.

I'd come equipped to torture the little guy a bit. I brought my rotary tool, armored gloves, muzzle collection, and...plenty of raw meat. We were ready for some nail trimming. Bastian was not so happy about the exercise but the girls all fed him meat pieces. We made it through without much trouble and didn't even use a muzzle.

Kitty and I had planned to go to dinner after doing nails but we were invited to stay for wine...and cheese...then salad and pizza...and dessert all appeared. We had a wonderful night relaxing with everyone. I couldn't get over how comfortable Bastian appeared to be with his new family.

Today Kitty thanked our hosts for the evening. Here's an excerpt from their response: "Bastian (short for Sebastian) is such a blessing, he had a tremendous impact for the better in our family: he calms us, and makes us look at each other with a new tenderness. We needed him and we did not know it."

Helping all these dogs involves a lot of work, some frustration and heartache, an occasional bite, and a bit of money. That all seems like a tiny investment when we get a payoff like this.

2008-11-27: Thanksgiving by Kyler Laird
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Dobky was groomed yesterday and Kitty reports that he did a wonderful job; he was calm in the bath, stood still for the groomer all day and even had his nails trimmed.  The groomer was especially impressed by how well he handled the power drier.  On the way home Kitty and Dobky met me on my way home from the farm at the WL Farmers Market where he seemed relaxed in the crowd.

I decided to take advantage of Dobky's recent bath and the beautiful weather by walking Dobky to University Place for a visit. We still need to do a lot of work on heeling but we'll get there. At UPlace we were greeted by staff in the hall and Dobky was solid as usual. He is incredibly easy to manage. He is not at all exuberent or pushy. He's very slow and deliberate but he does show an interest in people. At the health center we stopped to talk with some people who wanted to see Dobky and he was perfectly patient. He holds so still that sometimes I worry that people will think he's antisocial...and then he'll edge forward just enough to be petted. After our visits I walked with Dobky through the halls and let him roam the courtyard for a bit before we returned home. He's a joy.

Kitty and I were guests of Bastian's family for Thanksgiving dinner. As always, Bastian seems like he's lived there for years and his family adores him. It's extremely rewarding to be able to match a wonderful dog with a wonderful family.

After we returned home and fed the dogs there I headed to the kennel. It's full but my three are all still in runs of their own. Tomorrow there's only room for two of them. I'm working on that.

I let T-bone, Huntley, and GP out first. They all get along fine these days; GP's days of chomping on Huntley seem to be over. Maisey, Baruch and Ranger joined us. I enjoy seeing everyone get along so well and it's comforting that they all head back into their runs with little prompting.

2008-12-24: Christmas Eve by Kyler Laird
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My sister, Renel, is at the farm with a friend. They brought Dad to Lafayette to meet me and Kitty for lunch today. Renel's friend is a dog enthusiast and wanted to see our pack so after lunch I headed home and took the house dogs to the kennel to meet everyone. The dogs did well with each other despite Sakari not knowing any of the kennel dogs. Huntley and Bozo were jumpy when my family arrived so we all headed to the park area so that the dogs could spread and run. We enjoyed walking the park but then I realized that the dogs had found the burrs along the fence. They were all a mess.

After my family left Kitty and I returned the kennel dogs and washed our eight. Kitty brushed while I washed. The Northern dogs were easy but the hair of the Poodle mixes held the burrs tightly. I was hurrying because we needed to get to church at 6:30. (Kitty had a reading in the service.) We just barely made it home in time to take quick showers (I was soaked.) and get to church.

After the service we were invited to join Bastian's family. There we enjoyed wonderful people and food, chatting and singing into the night. As always, it was a delight to see Bastian with his family. He is greatly appreciated.

It was late by the time we returned to the kennel but the dogs seemed to be alright from their earlier outing. We pulled Garbonzo, Sophie and Bizou and they all did well with the big guys. After I returned everyone but T-bone and Huntley I pulled Keowee, returned him, then pulled Mackey.  They are making remarkable improvement and both dogs initiated play with T-bone.  I felt like I spent all of my time cleaning and managing dogs and didn't get to play with them as much as usual. I'm looking forward to returning with more time to spare.

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