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Chewie

by Kyler Laird last modified 2009-01-27 05:59

Lhasa Apso/Shih-Tzu/??? mix, male

joined us: 2008-09-16 (4099 days ago)


2008-09-16: little dogs at AHHS by Kyler Laird
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I was at the farm when I got an e-mail from AHHS informing me that they have some little dogs for me to see. Some errands delayed me but I had a little time at the end of the day so I thought I'd take a quick look. There were two who had been in wall cages in the garage for awhile, a Jack Russel Terrier mix and a cute white dog.

I took the JRT mix out first. He was very active as should be expected from the breed but he was easy to handle and had a nice disposition. I liked him and I thought that his wire coat would not shed much.

Next was the white/cream dog. I'd just been telling someone how I avoid the brachycephalic breeds and here I was looking at this short-nosed guy. I was looking for a reason to leave him. He seemed comfortable being held but I put him on the ground and he stayed right with me on-leash. I don't think he made a single noise other than some minor sniffles which bothered me a bit. (Bizet/Bastian, a recent AHHS dog, had kennel cough so I was extra sensitive to it.) We played and walked for awhile and I just couldn't find anything wrong with this dog. As we came through the garage I was cruel to the JRT; I gave him some attention and then turned to leave with the white dog. The JRT started barking. I know he needs to be in an environment where he can be more active but I wasn't ready to commit to him. I decided to leave him...for now.

In the lobby I watched the white dog with the cats (no interest) and other people. He was adorable. He'd been there over a week and even though I work with these wonderful dogs all the time I was still amazed that no one adopted him. I decided to take him with me. While the staff gave the white dog a last minute vaccination and put together paperwork Brenda asked if I'd like to see a couple Huskies. She knows how to press my buttons.

The two Husky boys roomed together and had beautiful black/white coats to match their personalities. We let them run for a bit and they were a delight. I expected them to be a little nutty or at least vocal/frustrated but they were quite congenial. I'd love to handle these dogs and if there was snow on the ground I would have squeezed them into our program. But I have three wonderful Huskies waiting for homes already and I've been declining Huskies for months. It was hard to say goodbye to these guys.

The little white dog was ready when I returned. I found a collar for him and we walked out to the car, stopping for a couple quick photos. He amazed me by being so calm and docile. I don't expect the little guys to be like that after being in a cage for awhile. This one was just perfect; he acted like he was completely comfortable with me. On the ride to the kennel he was alert and interested but eventually sacked out on a cushion.

Before deciding to take this dog I'd called ahead to the clinic and confirmed that there was a space in the isolation room for him. When we arrived he went straight there until he could be checked by a doctor. Still not a peep out of him, even when I looked through the window at him later. This is quite a dog.


2008-09-17: Chewie update by Kyler Laird

I uploaded photos of the new little dog while I drove him to the clinic yesterday and by that evening Waynetta had provided some names for him. After meeting him Kitty chose "Chewie." Waynetta had a dog named "Chewy," short for "Chewbacca," and I think this guy will make her proud.

The doctors looked at Chewie this morning and began treatment for an eye infection and upper respiratory infection. He'll be in isolation for awhile. Once he's cleared he'll be vaccinated for rabies and neutered. I look forward to him meeting the rest of the gang.


2008-09-25: night outing by Kyler Laird

We've been at the kennel late the last few nights. Yesterday and today we had a couple of my cousin's dogs, Bella and Bear, Lab. siblings, staying at the kennel.

Everyone is doing so well! Judo and GP had a little spat late in our visit but it was without injury. Delaney was such a gentleman, as usual. He has gotten much more relaxed with everyone and is just a delight. I need to get a collar for him but he's been so easy to handle; I often just let him wander and he'll follow me wherever I go and even get in his kennel on his own.

The new guy, Chewie, is finally out of isolation. I was told that he'd been eliminating in his crate and I wanted to get him out at night to give him a chance to make it to morning. When Kitty pulled him from his kennel he was clean! She brought him out after all of the big dogs and he was amazing. We kept him in the entry area and added a couple other dogs. I was concerned that Bob might overwhelm him. Instead, he slipped through the gate and straight into Bob!

Chewie is truly amazing. He never makes a noise and seems completely unfazed by much larger dogs charging him. He poked Grazie a few times and got some corrections from her but he didn't cower a bit. Kitty and I both held him a few times and he seems as comfortable in the air as on the ground. I'm always looking for little dogs who break the stereotype of being scared and yappy. This guy seems perfect. I'm looking forward to working with him.


2008-10-02: therapy dog class begins by Kyler Laird

The latest therapy dog class at Klondike Canine Academy started last week. Waynetta attended with Aries but Kitty and I had a funeral to attend. This week we got to start working with Peyton and Dobky. And Layla brought along Chewie for some training too!

We arrived in time to give Aries, Peyton and Dobky a few minutes to run before class. Aries hadn't been around these guys and he was a little tense but they were alright after a few minutes. Aries did well last week but was a bit frustrating this week. He's a good guy and I'm confident he and Waynetta will work together to make progress.

I wasn't expecting much from Dobky but I love how calm and attentive he is. It's hard to do stays with a dog who constantly wants to touch me but I'm trying to appreciate him and let him develop at a comfortable pace. We spent a lot of time just relaxing with each other. He is not at all bothered by the other dogs.

Peyton was the big surprise of the evening. I was surprised Kitty even agreed to work with him but the real shocker was how well they did together. He was a bit wild at first but Kitty stuck with it and soon I saw them working like a real team. She really brought him along nicely.

And then there's Chewie. He's just wonderful. I enjoy seeing the little guy and he is certainly stuck on Layla. He's recovering well from his recent surgery.

Speaking of surgery...T-bone was out on hospital side this evening. He's been a challenge for the staff there. I'm looking forward to getting him back out to play with everyone.

Oh...and then there's Keowee. Tonight we got a call that he was out running the neighborhood again. I drove over to find Allison not far behind him but he would not return to her. I kept driving the neighborhood hoping to spot him if he crossed a major road and then I got the call that he was closer to home. As I drove that way I saw him in the road and pulled over, opened the door and offered him a ride. He hopped in, panting hard and bleeding from a cut dew-claw pad. I think he'll be alright.  Huskies...


2008-10-03: Friday playgroups by Kyler Laird
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Waynetta called me today to ask about bringing Aries to meet my pack. She wanted to keep away from playgroup times to avoid other dogs so we met at 3:30, just before playgroups. Aries, of course, did fine meeting everyone. We eventually added the kenneled dogs and Stan joined us. They were doing so well that we stayed for playgroups.  We had a good bunch of dogs and were joined by Sunny and his sister, Leia.

Everyone got along beautifully until the very end when we mistakenly tethered GP and Chewie to the same person to return to the kennel. I looked over to see GP holding Chewie in his mouth. I made my way through the gates to them and GP quickly dropped Chewie who ran off and squeezed through a gate. He was a bit scratched but did not sustain any major damage. GP had a bite on his nose. I wonder what happened.

We were all ready for dinner so I took our dogs and Aries home. I crated Aries and Dobky (separately), leaving the normally-crated Dexter and Marley free in the house with the rest of the dogs. Kitty and I joined Waynetta and Stan for dinner then returned to find the dogs all doing well.


2008-10-04: Saturday socialization by Kyler Laird
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I arrived well before playgroups to work with Crockett some more. We ran it just like the other times, starting with the Poodle boys, Grazie, then added Bob and Dexter. Dobky and Bob are both very confident with Crockett but there weren't any situations that couldn't be defused with some well-placed sounds.

Morgan and Crockett showed that they obviously recalled what happened last time the met. They were quite vocal with each other when Crockett initially arrived. I hesitated to bring them together again but decided I could manage them as long as no one else appeared.

I clipped Morgan to me in the main playgroup area stood behind the gate with him as I unlocked the gate. Crockett came through the gate looking for Morgan but I blocked him with a jacket. Morgan was not interested in engaging and Crockett quickly left to check out the new space. Crockett made a few more passes and showed some interest in Morgan but Mo seemed to get the message that I was in charge of handling the pushy young guy. In fact, he was pulling toward the gate to get into the other playgroup area, away from Crockett.

I decided that Morgan would not be a problem and unclipped him. I stayed on my toes and blocked Crockett a few times but let them get progressively closer. Eventually they were tempering themselves, making passes but not displaying aggression. (Crockett's hackles make quite a display when he's "on.") We ended the socialization and returned Crockett to his kennel without incident before playgroups started.

After returning Crockett I released Peyton, GP and Delaney to join us for playgroups. T-bone is still recovering from surgery and Judo is still on loan with Onyx. The kennel dogs were full of energy and Peyton was especially boisterous. We were joined by other dogs for playgroups, including Judo.  I discovered that Judo has been doing very well with Onyx, giving her nearly constant play. Although he hasn't hurt the cat, he has been chasing. We'll work on that.

I figured my pack had enough play already and I was trying to leave quickly but got delayed. Apparently Marley had a run-in with GP and I looked over to see GP grasping Marley's butt firmly in his mouth. Again, GP quickly released his grip when I reached him and Marley did not seem physically injured. GP did not seem at all bothered. I'm thinking that perhaps he's found an effective way to deal with pesky dogs. I'd like to convince him to use a different strategy. I'll need to be more protective of him.


2008-11-02: corn harvest by Kyler Laird
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During soybean harvest I was able to take a breath every so often and write a bit about the dogs and Kitty stayed at home with our dogs there. Since we've been in corn I've hardly had a spare moment. Kitty and I take all of our home dogs (Grazie, Morgan, Jarreau, Marley, Bob, Dexter, Dobky) to the farm in the morning. On the way I pull up a gravel lane in the middle of a couple 'bean fields we've already harvested and I let the dogs run to the end of it where I collect them - except for Bob and sometimes Morgan, who get to chase us back to the road. The dogs are ready to relax a bit  after that.  We load them into the semi and haul grain non-stop all day. Kitty drives the semi and a tandem truck while I drive two tandems. Most of the dogs wait in the semi but we pull a dog or two to go with us in the smaller trucks. We head home well after dark and feed the dogs at home. Kitty and I often go out to eat before or after we visit the dogs at the kennel.

The dogs are generally doing well at the farm. Besides their brief morning run, they often get to run free in the fields and around the barns. The Poodle mixes do especially well and Dexter is doing much better.  Morgan got confused and started to run down the road after Dad's truck once but Kitty called him back. Once when I let the dogs out in the field Bob just started running. He'd obviously slipped into "Husky mode" and was not going to return. Morgan ran after him and they were gone, headed toward the barns. The crops were harvested in the area and I assumed they'd wait by the barns so I didn't worry but when we finally had a full load and headed that way I didn't find the dogs. I got the Jeep and drove all around the farm multiple times without spotting them. Finally I returned to the trucks in the field and there was Bob. I stood on top of the truck and saw a black speck moving my way on a road between a couple of our fields where I didn't even think to look earlier. Morgan was happy to jump in the Jeep when I reached him and I was sooo happy to have him return safely.

Bob and Morgan's instincts got them into trouble again yesterday. We had a bit of a wait for a load as we finished a field so we were all in the semi. It was warm and I had opened the windows. I jumped in the combine to talk to Dad and decided to ride with him as he finished, leaving Kitty with the dogs. Then I got a frantic call from her. I ran back to the end of the field to find Morgan and Bob playing "tug" with a rabbit. (The rabbits come out as we finish a field.) Bob was obviously injured. I think he broke a toe jumping out of the semi. Grrrr...

The kennel dogs are doing wonderfully. Peyton and Judo love to play every night. GP still snuggles close to me a lot but he ventures out more now. Fangman goes between hanging out with me and playing happily with the other dogs. And T-bone is a joy - he is playing well with the other dogs but he craves attention from me. I often call him and he immediately stops whatever he's doing and comes dashing to - and into - me. He is going to be a super dog.

Chewie and Delaney are staying with Layla. It sounds like she's found a home for Delaney but he's had a couple seizures so she's trying to address that before he goes. Chewie is doing well and has recovered from the rough handling GP gave him.

Keowee is still living with Allison and causing some frustrations. He's not doing well in playgroups these days. I had him out with my usual dozen over a week ago and he kept getting into fights. It was like a barroom brawl - as soon as he'd start something several other fights would erupt. There were no injuries but I did break the small camera I usually carry so I haven't been taking many photos recently.

Last Sunday was Dogtoberfest and it seemed to go beautifully. It was windy but the weather was otherwise good. I stayed out in the playgroup area the whole time with my dozen dogs. We were the "playgroup demonstration." All of the dogs were out there most of the time (three hours) and Maddie joined us for awhile too. They did remarkably well, especially for such an extended time and Maddie's first time with many of the dogs. We had some potential adopters visit Peyton and I think one made an application (through IDOG) for him.

The elevator doesn't open until noon today so we're getting a late start. I might swap Bob for Crockett on the way to the farm. I'd like to find a less-demanding foster home where Bob can recover. Crockett has been getting a lot of attention at the clinic, often hanging out in the office along with Chewie, but he's a little stir crazy. He got through to his second set of stitches and removed them Friday morning. We've decided to just let his paw heal on its own. He needs an outing though.


2009-02-28: Saturdogs by Kyler Laird
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After working a bit this morning Buddy and I headed to Mr. & Mrs. Tire. I gave away most of the tires I prepared for the previous mushing class and another one starts tomorrow. I loaded six tires of various sizes while Buddy waited patiently in the Jeep. Buddy often trembles in the car but he always behaves perfectly and won't bolt when I leave the door open.

Next we headed to the Petite Pals playgroup at Klondike Canine Academy. Layla said she'd bring Chewie to work on his dog-dog interactions so Buddy and I retrieved Anna from the kennel. Anna is a big calm sweetie and I thought she'd be a good "big dog" for Chewie to meet. At playgroups there was some concern about Anna but that quickly dissipated. Anna seemed to love getting some attention inside on her own and mostly flopped on her side for a belly rub and she was perfect with all the little dogs who came to check her. Chewie was interested in Anna yet reluctant to approach her. He finally got close to her at the end of class while we were all talking together.

After Petite Pals I let the rest of the kennel dogs out in the kennel yard. Regular playgroups were starting as I put away the dogs so I left T-bone and Huntley out to help with evaluations. Later I also pulled Anna to help with evals. They all did a great job with a variety of dog being evaluated. I've not been to playgroups in a long time and I thoroughly enjoyed being part of evaluations. It's a thrill to see new dogs learn to play with other dogs and it's especially fun to watch my dogs interacting with them.

As the last evaluation was finishing I pulled Chewie for some play. He'd been away from the other dog since Petite Pals so we called him over and I coupled him to Buddy before putting them in the main playgroup area. It was a wonderful match; Buddy helped Chewie explore the area and meet other dogs. When Chewie fixated on a dog and started barking Buddy would wander away, dragging Chewie along. After a 10 minutes or so I uncoupled them and Chewie was fine.

As I left playgroups I pulled Marty from the kennel. At home I swapped Buddy for Dobky and then headed to University Place to meet the Purdue students who have been helping us. Kitty met us there with Grazie. They'd dropped in at the West Lafayette Public Library reading program. We all made our usual rounds. This is the first time I've had Dobky out in close contact with lots of strangers and he did very well. He sometimes sought interaction and sometimes avoided it but not strongly. He readily handled anything I asked him to do.

After UPlace I left Marty in the car while I fed the other dogs. Then Kitty and I took Marty to meet some friends who have been interested in adopting a dog. They happen to be Peyton's neighbors and were impressed by him so we thought we'd take the opportunity to show them our latest doodle. Marty is perfect waiting in and riding in the car. When we arrived, he was excited and pulled a lot on me but inside the house he was impressively relaxed. We sat and talked for awhile and I eventually unclipped Marty. He wandered a bit but immediately returned whenever I'd call him. We gave a brief demonstration of clicker training and Marty was a good participant.

We ordered pizza for dinner and it was just a few blocks away so we all walked there. I let Marty wander on the stretch lead most of the way but held him close when we arrived. It's going to take some work to get him to heel well but he did alright. Back at the house Marty had his dinner while ours was prepared. Then he settled under the table and slept through our meal. Our hosts were concerned that he'd beg throughout the meal if he stayed in the room so I think he impressed them.

It was good to see that Marty can do so well both as a therapy dog and a family dog. I enjoyed exercising him in these roles and he made it easy. Back at the kennel I released him with the other dogs for our usual night outing and he seemed content to return to his run.


2009-03-07: a full Saturday by Kyler Laird
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Marty visited us today while his family went out of town. He was very anxious at our house but finally settled in the corner behind the chair where I work. I took him with me when I headed to the Petite Pals playgroup with Buddy.

I kept Marty on lead during PP and worked with him. He is amazingly easy to train. We distracted all of the other dogs there to play and they were all following Marty's lead, looking for treats. Buddy was especially persistent; he has learned that sitting, not jumping, is a good way to get my attention and I often turn to see him sitting and waiting for me to notice him. Chewie is picking up this behavior also and is now looking for my attention instead of barking at dogs and people. At the end of PP I let Marty play with the other dogs and we soon migrated outside. Chewie and Buddy are a great team; I enjoy watching them zip around in circles around me. Marty was great with other dogs as always but he was a bit head-shy and uncomfortable at first. By the end of class he was relaxed and he's become quite comfortable with my occasional wrestling.

After PP we headed out to the "real" playgroups. I pulled all the dogs from the kennel then Amy arrived with Tanner and Anna. Finally, Kitty arrived with the rest of our home dogs. We had an active section but the dogs all did well together. I don't recall a single skirmish.

There were three evaluations during playgroups and our pack did very well interacting with the new dogs. Buddy continues to show his value both in greeting new dogs and helping Chewie be more comfortable. (They were tethered together again today for awhile.) Anna plays the role of "gentle giant" beautifully but barks loudly (from a down) to implore the little dogs to play with her. GP continues to impress me; he is gentle with everyone and tolerates Marty's frequent mounting without appearing disturbed at all. GP and Chewie had no problems together. Chewie has recovered well from the first time they met. Huntley and T-bone play together constantly and it takes a bit of management to ensure that other dogs don't jump into the middle inappropriately but they're a good source of activity.  Morgan kept a low profile, perhaps trying to stay out of GP's way.  Bozo looks great with his newly-blown coat and he played well with everyone.  Dexter and Bob even played together a bunch when everyone else was in the evaluation area.

After playgroups we ran home and quickly turned around with Bob, Marley, Jarreau and Dobky for a visit to University Place. We met Amy with Tanner and Anna along with five Purdue students. UPlace wasn't very active today but we did get to stop and talk with several appreciative residents. Despite having spent so much time at playgroups the dogs all seemed to enjoy running in the health center courtyard also.


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