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Crockett

by Kyler Laird last modified 2008-11-16 22:29

Alaskan Malamute, male

joined us: 2008-09-27 (3983 days ago)

This dog has been adopted.

all photos of this dog

This dog is with Northern Lights Sled Dog Rescue and is staying with us for a week of evaluation.


2008-09-27: meeting Crockett by Kyler Laird
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NLSDR arranged a transport to arrive today. I met Crockett with his transport volunteer, Phil, near I-65. Phil and I talked for a bit and then I got to know Crockett a bit. I handled him quite a bit and was expecting to get some kind of reaction but Crockett remained relaxed. He was content to quietly ride with us and wait while I handled an errand on the way to the kennel. At the kennel he hopped out and followed me (tethered) as I got his paperwork in order.

Kitty and I ran home after Crockett was kenneled. We didn't have much time before turning around and taking our pack back for playgroups. About half way through our time there I pulled Crockett from the kennel. I brought him into an empty section and then added Grazie, Jarreau and Marley. They all did fine. There was a bit of tension through the fence, however.


2008-10-01: a day of firsts by Kyler Laird
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What a day! We had a lot of firsts. Dobky had a hair cut when I got him but it's always blocked his eyes. Kitty took him to be professionally groomed and he looks great! She said that he did well with being bathed, clipped and dried. I love seeing his eyes and he's so handsome!

When dapper Dobky rejoined us we pulled T-bone for introductions. He quickly became comfortable with the Poodley boys and Grazie. I was a little concerned that this young intact GSD might not do well with the rest of my guys but they all did a wonderful job. Eventually T-bone joined our entire group. I was impressed with how Bob and Dexter readily accepted T-bone. Morgan even approved of him. I am delighted to have T-bone in our crew.

After such a great success I was quite hesitant to pull Crockett but I wanted him to get to be part of the pack. Again, I started him with Jarreau, Marley, and then Grazie who he'd already met. (He took a hunk of fur out of Grazie's head yesterday but they were fine today.) I watched carefully as Dobky entered. He can be a bit pushy but he held back with Crockett...for awhile. They stood against each other a few times and neither would relent. I just needed to step between them or give a vocal distraction to break the tension though.

Dexter was no problem at all with Crockett and so I moved on to Morgan. I did not expect Mo to be so quick to forgive the young punk so I put on a glove and held Morgan while everyone entered the main playgroup area. Crockett did not even show an interest in Morgan for quite awhile. When he did approach it was not an issue. I finally let everyone play freely and it went surprisingly well. Crockett was careful but joined in playing and did not get over-stimulated by some of the big guys running and playing a little rough.

As I was getting ready to leave a playgroup was about to start and some of the monitor's dogs arrived. One of the little dogs was very excited and ran along the fence creating quite a stir. I was too far away to reach the dogs before Morgan and Crockett bumped into each other and had an extended spat. It lasted a long time but was fairly controlled. I stood in the middle of it but they both stayed clear of me.  Finally I wrapped Crockett's neck and he immediately stopped without any struggling, almost as if he was relieved to be done. He showed no aggression toward me.  Morgan's leg was injured but I think he'll heal easily. The dogs were fine together as we left.

We had time to return home, feed the dogs and then go to University Place to meet another handler with her dog, Tanner. I took Dobky and Kitty took Marley. Normally we crate them and Dexter while we're gone so I decided to leave Dexter free in the house. That seemed to work alright.

The boys were great at UPlace. I enjoy seeing Dobky's eyes and it was fun to have two freshly-groomed Poodle mixes. We chatted with several residents while waiting for Tanner. He's a big guy and seemed anxious during the visit but was well-behaved. We visited the room of one resident in Assisted Living who saw us on our way into the building and called to request us. It was a perfect introduction to UPlace. After that we headed to the Health Center and after a couple visits in the hall we let the dogs play in the courtyard. The boys had a great time and Tanner did well at getting them to run.

Despite my failure to control the situation with Crockett it was a banner day. I think T-bone is going to be a great dog and I'm confident that Crockett will learn to relax around other dogs. Marley and Dobky did a beautiful job at politely visiting people. (Dobky seems to be a little spooked by the elevator and bathroom. We'll work on that.) It was so much fun to be around Tanner! He's a big boy and gets a lot of attention and he's very well trained. Although harvest is starting soon I'm going to try to get back into regularly visiting UPlace.  I enjoy sharing it with new teams.


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.


2008-10-06: harvest begins by Kyler Laird
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We began harvesting today. Because we're doing soybeans and I have a spiffy semi truck now, I decided I should be able to handle it as the only driver. Kitty was home with our dogs so I wanted to take a kennel dog with me. I've wanted some one-on-one time with Crockett so I picked him up around noon. He was fabulous in the car; he stayed in the back, didn't make a sound and seemed relaxed.

I misunderstood when Dad was leaving for town so I was a bit hurried when I arrived at the farm. Crockett and I jumped in the truck with Dad for a lift to the shop where a grain truck had been repaired. Crockett was excited to meet Dad at first but once I got Crockett positioned he was fine. We bailed out at the highway and walked a bit to the shop. Crockett pulled, of course, but he seemed to at least have the notion of heeling and I encouraged him to hang back with me. When I went inside to get the key for the truck I don't think the woman behind the counter saw Crockett...until he put his paws on the counter. It didn't seem to bother her and Crockett was being good-natured. We hopped in the grain truck and Crockett again settled for the ride. He's remarkably relaxed for a dog who has been kenneled and not usually allowed to play with the others.

After dropping the grain truck in the field we headed back to the house to get my semi. Again, Crockett pulled quite a bit for the first half mile but then settled into a decent heel. At the house I left Crockett in my Jeep while I wrangled the semi into position. That took awhile but he seemed content. Crockett also got to meet Dad's dog. The boys had no problems with each other although they wanted to play more than my lead would allow.

Crockett made himself comfortable in the back of the semi and we headed to the field. We met our neighbor's dog there and Crockett did well with him too. We had time to wait for the other truck to be filled so I came back and settled on the bunk to do some work. Crockett joined me a couple times but was never pushy.

When the smaller truck was ready we took it to the elevator. I wanted to check on contracts after I dumped so I took Crockett inside with me. He pulled a bit but was easy to manage in the tight office spaces and, as always, kept quiet. Back at the farm we returned to work in the semi until it was full. I marveled at how well Crockett does. He's always quiet and relaxed, a great companion.

After I returned Crockett to his kennel that night I released the other dogs. I had a report that T-bone (wearing an e-collar) got loose and had a fight with GP (who was on a trolley line) that day but they were fine until they got outside. They got a bit growly with each other a few times but it was easy to manage. Both dogs seemed a bit desperate for attention so I tried to provide it. Peyton and Delaney were doing their usual - Peyton was zooming and Delaney kept checking in with me, just looking for an ear scratch. After I got the guys back in their kennels I pulled Crockett again for one last outing before going home.

I get frustrated when these guys get into fights but it's a joy to spend time with them. They're all such wonderful dogs who just need more attention. It will be a challenge to provide that during harvest but I'm looking forward to pulling one of them each day for awhile.


2008-10-09: T-bone's turn by Kyler Laird
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I've been trying to avoid T-bone for awhile. He's been wearing an e-collar while he recovers from his surgery a week ago. I decided he needed some attention though and he should be pretty well healed by now. It was his day to go to the farm with me.

T-bone gets so excited whenever I see him. He often jumps on me so I try to maintain tight control of his collar when I greet him. I let him out for awhile and then we dropped Kitty at home and headed to the farm. T-bone behaved well enough in the car but he was panting hard the whole way. When we arrived at the farm I tethered him to me and started checking the semi. I wasn't paying much attention to T-bone but soon he was loose and running with Dad's dog. I still don't know how he became unclipped but as soon as I realized it I ran for the big open doors. I had one closed when I saw T-bone running toward the other door. I ran toward him, hoping he'd duck back in the barn but he scooted right by me and started zipping around the houses.

Ug. Not a good way to start the (late) day. I decided to continue preparing the semi because I knew I couldn't catch T-bone and I figured he needed some exercise anyway. As I backed out of the barn I saw the dogs zip past and was grateful that they hadn't headed for the fields or woods. I pulled behind the house and got the attention of Dad's dog. As I gave him a treat T-bone nosed between us and I calmly grabbed him while producing another treat. One more treat and he was in the semi.

When we got to the field a smaller truck was already full so we took it to town. T-bone continued his panting the whole way but seemed alright otherwise. I took him inside to grab our receipt and he was pulling like mad. He wouldn't jump in the truck so I had to help him again but he always backs away when I try to lift him. He's fine when I finally get him but he's not comfortable before that.

We took another small truck and then the combines moved to a new field. We followed with the semi and I got to sit in back with T-bone while I did some work. He continued to pant and he was a little restless but still well-behaved. It was quite a contrast to how GP just stretched out next to me and slept.

The combines opened the next field and then headed for home. The semi still wasn't full but it was too late to take a load into town anyway. We put the semi back in the barn and headed for home. I thought T-bone might relax a few times but he always came right back up.

At the kennel I put T-bone in his run and fed him then released the other dogs. GP and Peyton got to run loose but I kept Crockett tethered to me. Crockett is still growly with the other dogs when they get in his face and he pulls hard so I just held his collar. Outside Peyton zoomed while GP wandered. GP made several passes at us and Crockett wasn't being too growly. I was trying to use a lesson I learned at the Pam Reid seminar; instead of just addressing the behavior I want changed I've been trying to change the dogs' emotions. Even when they're growling at each other I try to stay jolly and continue to massage both dogs. It seems to work well. After awhile I decided to switch Crockett for GP.

Peyton is so active that I worried he'd trigger a response from Crockett but instead they had a wonderful time. I was thrilled to see them running figure eights around the yard. They had a glorious time with no altercations and oh, did they ever run. Crockett came zipping by GP and me several times but got no response. GP was enjoying leaning into me and getting massaged so much that he seemed disinterested in the other dogs. I had no problem handling all three dogs in close contact at once.

I eventually released GP but he mostly remained next to me. He started playing with me a few times. Each time, as soon as I'd react and return his play bow Crockett would come through and slam into GP. I thought it would trigger a fight the first time but they showed no interest. I wonder if it's because GP was having such fun with me? Shortly after that we returned to the kennel. What a great bunch of dogs.

I put Crockett away but Peyton and GP were still running around. Eventually Peyton came to me and went in his run but GP wanted to play. Fine, I allowed GP to be free while I took T-bone out once more but then GP came bounding over and the two had a spat. I'm not even sure what happened but it was more flash than bang. I grabbed both dogs and put them in their runs. I was done, a sour end note but still a good night with happy dogs.


2008-10-10: good harvest by Kyler Laird
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I took GP to the farm again today. It was difficult to decide who would join me. Although other dogs certainly could have used the outing I was looking for an "easy" dog today and I really enjoyed GP last time.

As before, GP was relaxed in the car. When we arrived I left him in the Jeep while I checked the semi but he made a fuss so I tethered him to me and he was content to follow. He was just wonderful all day. I even let him roam off-lead in the fields but he stuck pretty close to me. At the elevator we walked around a couple times while waiting. GP readily greeted some men who were admiring him. Once when I left him in a truck while I ran to get my receipt I returned to see him starting to climb through the partially-open driver's window. (The passenger window was all the way open.) I yelled to him and he immediately relaxed. I think he just wanted to find me.

At the end of the day we shuttled trucks, walking the return leg to the field. GP heels surprisingly well after a day of activity. He pulled a bit but readily repositioned when asked. Smells were very interesting to GP; he spent a lot of time with his nose in the grass. I kept thinking he should easily pass his CGC but I realized he might be bonding to me a bit too much to pass the supervised separation. Gotta work on that.

Back at the kennel I fed GP and pulled Peyton, Crockett and...Judo! Judo?! Yes, he returned today from his outing and yes, I was taking him out with Crockett. While Peyton and Crockett played like old buddies, I got to know Judo again. He and Crockett were definitely not comfortable with each other. Piloerection was dramatic on these two beautiful northern dogs. I worked them for quite awhile, touching them lots, "jollying" them, one and then the other, always holding one and letting the other roam. I'm developing a pattern for this. It's remarkable how easy it's been to handle very reactive dogs by keeping my hands and face between their pointy parts and diverting their gazes. I know we're making progress when the loose dog relaxes and presents for the dog I'm holding to sniff.

So...how'd these two "dog aggressive" dogs do (with feisty Peyton thrown in for zest)? They were remarkably good. There wasn't outright play like Crockett and Peyton enjoyed the night before but they all came in very close contact, sometimes at a run, without incident. I'm so proud of these guys!

Of course I had to go and push it. (There's a pattern.) I returned Crockett, Peyton and Judo then pulled GP and T-bone. Oh, boy, there was tension between those two. I did my usual but T-bone wasn't buying it. He kept his eye trained on GP whenever I was holding him. GP was fine though. I think I need to spend more time with T-bone before he'll trust me the way I need.


2008-10-11: long day by Kyler Laird
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As I was heading to the farm today I got a call that Fang had arrived at the kennel. Oh! I'd almost forgotten about him. I agreed to help IAMRA move a Malamute to Merrillville and asked that he be dropped at the kennel for me to transport when weather allows me to be out of the fields. I wanted to personally handle the intake so I stopped in to meet the transport. I enjoyed talking dogs for awhile and Fang ("Fangman") seemed to be an easy-going guy. Once the transporter left I decided to take Fang with me.

Fang was well-behaved in the car and at the farm. He got along well with the other dogs there. I was hoping to use him as transport from field to another but as soon as I jumped on my scooter he gave up interest in pulling me. Instead he trotted along behind me.

I wanted to return home in time to take Kitty to a festival in town. As I hurried to put away trucks I forgot to grab my computer. I didn't realize it until I was half way home so that made me even later. I dropped Fang in his run with some food and water and hurriedly grabbed the first three dogs in the line - Peyton, Crockett and T-bone. T-bone was just in a fight yesterday so I thought I'd hold him close to me while Crockett and Peyton played. It didn't work that way.

We were outside only a minute before Crockett came at T-bone. T-bone reacted and even though I had his collar we suddenly had a fight. My wrist was in the way but Crockett inhibited his bite (fortunately!). Unfortunately T-bone wasn't pulling any punches. As I'd pull dogs apart one would always come back for more - even Peyton was beating up on T-bone. I finally stopped the fight and noticed Crockett holding a front paw. Dang! He'd had a pad completely split open. It was bad.

I put dogs away and bandaged Crockett (with Layla's assistance by phone). I got him back to his run wearing an e-collar, wiped up most of the blood, and let GP and Judo out. They were so good! I love getting GP's attention. When I returned I found Crockett missing the end of his bandage. Grrrr.

I considered taking him to the emergency clinic but I know there's not a whole lot more they'd do for him other than start antibiotics.  I decided to bandage him again, being a bit more thorough.  I took Fang out for awhile and returned to see the bandages intact.

I finally got home, very late, but we took Dobky and Morgan to town.  The boys did well with the crowd and loud music.  Dobky is especially calm and got a lot of attention.  The food booths were closed by the time we arrived so we had dinner at Red 7.  The boys did downstays the whole time and Dobky only got up once (to be petted by a cute waitress - hard to blame him).  We also happened to meet an enthusiastic young man who is interested in using therapy dogs in a program with adults who have special needs.  I look forward to discussing that more.


2008-10-12: studying T-bone by Kyler Laird
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Oh, T-bone...we need to know each other better. I'm tired of his fighting so I want to figure out how to work with him. Soon after we arrived we were approached by a kitten. T-bone was very interested but didn't get completely nuts. T-bone panted hard the entire day but I made him work for it a bit. We took a quick scooter ride at first and he did alright so we later made a longer (~.8 mile) trip. He ran riefly but mostly trotted, staying on the road fairly well. Late in the day T-bone ran and hit the end of the bungee lead I was wearing and snapped his collar. I let him run while I shuttled a truck and when I returned I walked around the house for awhile calling to him. As I was about to give up he came zipping toward me for a body slam. I grabbed the harness he was still wearing and redirected him to the ground for a belly-rubbing session before clipping onto the harness and walking back to the car. I like this guy.

When we returned to the kennel I fed T-bone and checked on Crockett's paw. It was still bandaged! I took Crockett out on lead with Peyton but Crockett just hobbled around a bit. Once Crockett and Peyton were back in their runs I pulled Judo, GP and Fangman. I kept Fang on-lead for awhile but it was obvious that he was fine even with the boisterous boys. GP just wanted his butt rubbed and Judo was growly/pushy - the usual. Fang handled it like a champ.


2008-10-13: good night by Kyler Laird
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I rushed away from lunch with Kitty and friends so I didn't have time to pick up a dog today. I still stopped at the kennel on the way home though. Crockett was on the hospital side so it was just Judo, Peyton, GP, Fang, and T-bone in the runs. I wanted to let them all play together so I grabbed a wire basket muzzle Waynetta left for us. T-bone calmly sat for me and readily accepted the muzzle. That was fortunate because I didn't have time to do a proper introduction.

Wearing the muzzle, T-bone was a different dog. The other dogs were already loose and T-bone only wanted to get away from them. GP got in his face and they were both growly but I just grabbed them and headed for the door. Outside T-bone stuck right with me and was a bit rigid but the others were fine. Everyone took it easy for awhile and mostly wanted my attention. Eventually they roamed the yard more.

Peyton and Judo played like crazy. Occasionally T-bone would run over to check them but after reaching them he'd quickly return to me. All the dogs were on top of each other around me but T-bone took it in stride for the most part. Fang would roll on his back on one side of me while GP would back into me from the other side. T-bone was pressed in the middle and I wondered if he was getting it - that this is a safe situation that doesn't require defensive moves. I hope he did. I sure enjoyed these wonderful guys.

After returning everyone to their runs I visited the hospital runs and found that Crockett had already removed the Medi-Paw from his leg. I replaced it but he quickly shed it two more times during our brief walk so I just taped his wrap a bit more. The doctor sutured his pad with stainless steel wire today. It should hold up to some abuse but I really don't want him licking at it. I'll check on him tomorrow.


2008-10-17: drizzly Friday by Kyler Laird
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It's been raining so I've not been at the farm as I was expecting. I took Mackey and Keowee out for a walk in the middle of the day and then I got to attend playgroups around 4:30. It's a good thing I got there a little early; only one monitor was there and we were getting a lot of clients. I took over the "big dog" section and my guys had a blast.

I'd gotten a call earlier from a couple friends we know from the Lafayette dog park who wanted to visit. They came and enjoyed seeing so many big dogs getting to play without anyone going crazy. I hope to see them bring their dogs soon.

It wasn't until others left at the end that I could pull the kennel dogs to play. I was expecting the mix of my tired guys and the fresh and nutty kennel dogs to be a challenge but they got along quite well. There was a minor scuffle between GP and Marley once when the dogs were all packed by the gate but that was all. T-bone wore his muzzle the whole time and seems to be doing alright. I'm in no hurry to discontinue the muzzle.

Later tonight I returned to the kennel to spend some time with Crockett. Poor guy! His left leg has been bandaged against his body and he's wearing a "no-bite" collar to keep him from bothering his foot. It reminds me a bit too much of my dog Garbo when he had osteosarcoma. Crockett will be better soon though and I'll try not to upset him in the meantime.  It was drizzling while we were outside so perhaps I'll get to spend time with him tomorrow too.


2008-10-19: CGC testing by Kyler Laird
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After church I drove home and got Morgan while Kitty prepared the testing room at church. Morgan and I returned well before the testing time so we joined Kitty at a congregation meeting. It was good for Morgan to relax for a bit before the test. I gave him a fresh rope toy that I grabbed on the way out of the house but he seemed content just to be out with us.

Just before 1:00 we headed to the testing room. We had lots of volunteers helping! Kitty and Waynetta have been fielding calls and it was good to see some of those people helping. Unfortunately Morgan and I couldn't socialize much with the "strangers."

Morgan and I were the first team of the day so the evaluator explained more to the helpers during our test. I enjoy working with Morgan and he was doing a good job for me. He even passed the "leave it" test! I'm so pleased with how the big guy does.

After our test we all jumped in the car. In 20 minutes it would be time for me to test with Keowee. I dropped Kitty and Morgan at home and picked up Keowee at his foster home. He was crated when I got there and I knew he'd be a little wound up so when we got on the side streets near the church I let him run alongside the car. He was still going strong when we neared the church so I took a detour and he finally seemed a bit tired for the last half mile. We arrived right on time and Keowee was much calmer than usual.

Keowee and I haven't worked together formally in a long time (or ever?) but he did well for me. We barely passed the "neutral dog" test though. He wanted so much to meet Pebbles, and she wanted to meet him too. But we made it! I dropped Keowee back at his house and headed to the farm alone.

On the way home from the farm I stopped at the kennel. I let Judo, Peyton, GP, Fang and T-bone (muzzled) out en masse. They are all so good. There doesn't seem to be any tension at all between them. Peyton and Judo played as usual while GP leaned on me. Fang is just a sweetie; he's everyone's friend. And T-bone...oh, he's a jewel! He's obviously bonded to me a bit but now he's venturing off to play with the other dogs. He doesn't get too worked up though and he always returns to me eventually.

T-bone seemed so comfortable with the other dogs that I decided to go ahead and remove his muzzle but I kept him tethered to me. Even though GP and Fang were constantly crowding us he behaved perfectly. Peyton visited a few times but Judo stayed away when I had T-bone. That concerns me. T-bone wanted to play with the others but I muzzled him each time I released him. I think he's going to be part of the pack soon though. It's a super group and I'm enjoying each one of them.

Everyone went back to their runs easily and I headed over to the hospital side to see Crockett. I could hear barking as I approached but I think it was the new Newf in another run. Crockett and I went outside but he didn't seem very interested. I decided to let him go off-lead; he's still hobbling on three legs so I figured he'd be alright but he headed straight for open water. I quickly looped him and encouraged him to relieve himself but we eventually just went back inside. (And, yes, then I took the Newf outside.)


2008-10-20: T-bone unleashed by Kyler Laird
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I visited the clinic on the way to the farm today to check on Crockett. He's been a challenge. We're still working on keeping him from picking at his pad sutures. It looks like he's already gotten one of them.

I've been so happy with T-bone lately that I wanted to continue working with him. He was wonderful! He's been off-lead a couple times at the farm by accident but I decided to release him today. It was fantastic to watch him run and play in the field. I feared he'd "make like a Husky" and head directly for the horizon. Instead he zipped around, circling back to me occasionally. He had fun! Once he did run off after a cyclist but he wasn't malevolent and he came right back when I crinkled a bag of treats. He got a treat each time he jumped into the truck after that.

I was so happy with T-bone that I tried letting him out with the other dogs at the kennel without a muzzle. Judo is definitely not happy about that but everyone was fine. T-bone finally got to play with Fang and Peyton; they went on for quite awhile. T-bone would try to join when Judo and Peyton played but Judo would always back off whenever T-bone approached. GP just stayed stayed close to me.  It was good.

After everyone returned to their runs I checked on Crockett.  His leg was free but he wore a newly-modified e-collar.  I took him outside for a bit but he didn't seem interested in more.  I think he's tired of being isolated.


2008-11-02: Crockett's outing by Kyler Laird

Today we dropped Bob at the kennel to rest and took Crockett to the farm with our other six home dogs. Crockett was muzzled for the ride and stayed on Kitty's lap. At the farm he ran with the other dogs and seemed generally alright although his pad still looks awful. It was hard to keep it covered all day even though he rode with me.

At the end of the day we left all of the home dogs in the semi in the field while we shuttled trucks. We returned after about ten minutes and I saw Morgan running toward me on the road. Then I quickly spotted the rest of the dogs in the field! Somehow the door to the semi had opened and all of the dogs were free - but Jarreau chose to stay in the semi. (Good dog, Jarreau!) Kitty collected the dogs as I struggled to muzzle Crockett. They all seemed happy to hop into the Jeep but they still avoided Crockett even though he was muzzled and tethered in the back.

We returned Crockett to the clinic and I released all of the dogs in the kennel. Bob stayed tethered to me as he hobbled about. Everyone else did their usual without giving Bob too much grief.


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.


2008-11-06: busy days by Kyler Laird
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Harvest continues but things are happening with the dogs too. Yesterday the grain elevators closed early so I called Jasper County Animal Shelter about a Giant Schnauzer I'd promised to check. I had just enough time to drive over to see him before the shelter closed but when I looked at their online listing I didn't see him. The ACO told me that a breed rescue in Arizona had arranged for him to be pulled. (Yea!) While I was on the phone she asked if I knew anything about Newfoundlands...

Newfoundlands?! Why, yes, I've enjoyed a few recently. In fact, just the night before I was delighted to play with one of South Central Newfoundland Club Rescue's Newfs, Shiloh, at the kennel. She's a Landseer and I'd discussed her wonderful personality with her guardian who told me that Landseers have "the goofy gene." I had already been thinking about having a Landseer of my own. And it turns out the Newf at JCAS is a Landseer!

I arrived at JCAS and made my way to the Newf, Huntley. He seemed small and not so Newfish when I first approached him in the run. Then I got him outside and could see him from a distance. He's a beautiful boy - and very much a Newf, even though he's a bit small. Huntley came from a breeder in Missouri, is 11 months old, and was relinquished because his owner moved. I liked him from the start. He needs quite a bit of training but he's a good playful boy.

I hadn't told Kitty about Huntley and she was waiting inside the semi in a field with our six dogs when I returned. (Bob goes to the kennel for the day to take it easy on his toes.) The dogs were so excited when I got out with Huntley. I soon released them from the semi and everyone played in the field. Huntley got along well with everyone from the start. I was relieved because I didn't know how we'd get him home otherwise; I hadn't brought my usual gear (muzzle, etc.). Instead, I ran him a bit alongside the Jeep and then tethered him in back with the others. He rode home without incident.  Kitty even said that she liked him.

At the kennel I established Huntley in his run and sent Bob home with Kitty and the other dogs to eat. Then I pulled the other kennel dogs and Shiloh to play. We had to hurry a bit because Peyton's family was coming to visit! (Peyton was adopted through IDOG.) After they arrived I put the other dogs in the kennel and we set to work bathing Peyton.

I had to take a business call so I left Peyton's new mom and her little girls to bathe Peyton. Everyone did a great job and I decided it was time for Peyton to see his home. It was delightful to send him off with his new family.

Today it rained at the farm and we returned early enough for the CGC/Therapy Dog class at KCA. I called Peyton's family and they joined us there. The class was canceled but Peyton and his family got a quick clicker training intro.

After class I played with our usual kennel dogs and Shiloh. I returned Shiloh to her run and then got Huntley. (Shiloh and Huntley are both intact.) Again, Huntley got along well with everyone although GP was a bit stiff with him. Eventually I released him to play off-lead and he had a grand time trying to chase T-bone around the yard. Once all of those dogs were returned I pulled Crockett all on his own. I look forward to working him with other dogs again but not tonight.

When Kitty returned to take me to dinner we took a few photos of Huntley. My little camera broke awhile ago so I haven't been taking photos during the day. It was hard to get a good shot of Huntley inside at night but I wanted to share him here.


2008-11-07: short day by Kyler Laird

It rained at the farm last night so we got to sleep a little later this morning and catch up on chores around the house. The dogs at our house seemed to appreciate the rest but they were also excited in the afternoon as we prepared to leave. We didn't take them though; I knew it would be a short but hectic evening. Indeed, a couple grain trucks got stuck and I used a tractor to drag Kitty and her semi through the field after dark. It was good we didn't have dogs.

We finally made it back to the kennel around our usual time and I handled the dogs there while Kitty fed the home dogs. Last night I let Crockett out after everyone else and I think he got so excited about the other dogs coming and going that he made a mess in his kennel. And poor Shiloh; she made a mess after I put her away. So tonight I let both of them out first. Crockett was muzzled so after he and Shiloh got to know each other I released the other dogs. There was some growling but everyone went easy on Crockett. Judo really wanted to play with him and I did eventually let Crockett off-lead to run a bit. He seemed to relax with the other dogs but he was annoyed by his muzzle and bootie.

Shiloh is the center of attention these days. She's such a goof and T-bone adores her. T-bone and Judo still zoom around the yard even without Peyton. (I have a great report from Peyton's new family!) And GP, oh, my sweet GP; he just wants to be rubbed and loved. He has "puppy dog eyes" down pat and knows how to use them on me.

Fang is still with us and he sticks close to me looking for attention. It looks like he'll be heading to Illinois next week to meet his new family. Crockett's new family is also driving over in a couple weeks. That will be just in time for us to clear the kennels for Thanksgiving although we will still have a bunch of dogs to stow somewhere.

With that group all back in their runs I checked on our new guy, Huntley. He was neutered this morning and was asleep in a clinic run when I arrived. As soon as I got him through his gate he leaked a little but then held the rest before getting outside to relieve himself fully. He really needed to go and I'm glad I got to him tonight. Huntley is only 79 pounds but he's a goofy puppy and pushes me excitedly when we play. I enjoy him and appreciate the contrast between him and the "harder" dogs. I look forward to helping him mature into a great dog. It's hard to imagine him as a therapy dog right now but I catch glimpses of potential in him.


2008-11-08: getting to know Huntley by Kyler Laird

We moved to our last field at the farm and quit a little early due to rain. At the kennel we picked up Bob and Grazie. Grazie was in to have a toenail checked; one was missing, leaving only the quick. Kitty took the house dogs home to be fed while I played with the kennel dogs.

Huntley was neutered on Friday and is staying in the clinic where Grazie was so I quickly let him out so that he wouldn't get excited and make a mess in his run before I returned. He's getting accustomed to the routine and relieved himself soon after he was outside. We played a bit too. I'm trying to discourage him from mouthing and jumping on me (although he's very gentle).

With Huntley back in the clinic, I headed to the kennel. Crockett's run was clean and he accepted my placement of a muzzle on him. Then we grabbed Shiloh, the other rescue's Newf, and headed outside. Those two did fine together so I returned to release the others: Judo, Fangman, GP and T-bone. As usual, they all enjoyed the evening and didn't mind the cold damp weather a bit. Crockett continues to relax around the other dogs and is learning that they don't intend to harm him. The muzzle is a great tool for allowing him to safely interact with the other dogs.

After I returned all of the kennel dogs to their runs I pulled Huntley again. We recently got toys for all of the kennel dogs to chew but Huntley didn't have one yet. It took awhile to find an appropriate one but I finally gave an "Extreme Kong" a short toss for the pup. I shouldn't have encouraged this newly-neutered clumsy pup to run on the slick floor but it was a delight to see him. He immediately pounced on the Kong and returned it to me! I couldn't resist throwing it a few more times. Huntley seemed as happy to bring the Kong back to me and drop it as I was to watch him do it. What fun!  And yet, as excited as he'd get he would occasionally snuggle into me after dropping the Kong and just lie still while I massaged him.  I was tempted to take him home but I resisted.  Soon.


2008-11-16: weekend update by Kyler Laird

It's been a good weekend. Since finishing harvest we've been catching up on some of those things we'd neglected for the past month.

On Thursday I took Fangman to the farm with me and planned to take him to Merrillville to meet his transport to IAMRA. Unfortunately I blew my whole day when I got the semi stuck backing it out of the barn (into a hill...). Fangman must have barked for two hours while I worked on it - not a big help. Maybe he was cheering for me? Fortunately the IAMRA transport kindly drove the extra distance to meet me in Rensselaer since I was running so late. Fangman has been good at the kennel but people have already submitted applications for him so he'll be in a home soon.

On Friday Judo went home with Remi's family. He's going to help them see what it would be like to have a second dog. Originally it was a weekend trip but now it sounds like Judo might also take a Thanksgiving trip.

On Saturday Crockett's new family visited the kennel and drove him back to Minnesota. I think he's going to enjoy being an only dog with his own family.

On Sunday we had a long meeting after church. I came home part way through the meeting to let out the dogs and decided to bring Dobky with me when I returned. Dobky lacks obedience of basic commands but his personality gives me confidence that he can be unobtrusive. Indeed, after we arrived to church we joined a break-out meeting and he remained calm, quiet and nuzzled at my side. When the groups gathered together Dobky was absolutely solid in the crowd and nuzzled into me when we all sat in a large circle. The people sitting on our sides were both interested in Dobky and would occasionally reach down and give him a pat. I decided to let him decide how to respond and he was perfect; he would nuzzle and solicit more attention but then return to me when the other people disengaged. I am delighted with Dobky's personality. He's going to be an outstanding therapy dog.

Upon returning home we quickly gathered Dexter, Morgan, Marley and Jarreau (leaving Bob and Grazie due to their paw injuries) and headed to the kennel to catch the end of playgroups. There I learned that playgroups had been canceled (even though the weather seemed good to me) but there were a couple people and dogs there. I only have three dogs at the kennel now - GP, T-bone and Huntley - for a total of eight so it seems a bit sparse to me. Everyone seemed to have a good time though. Huntley and T-bone play all the time. Dobky tries to reign in T-bone, who does his best to submit but continue playing. GP ventures out a bit but usually wanders back to get attention from me. I enjoy grabbing his beautiful face and then rubbing his back while he leans into me.


2008-12-23: Sakari stays with us by Kyler Laird
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Sakari's family is out of town for the week so Sakari returned to us this morning. I started him in the side yard and let out a couple dogs at a time to greet him but it wasn't a problem at all. He knows most of the current pack and he didn't have any conflicts with the new dogs. Soon he was cuddling with Kitty on the bed in my office while I worked. He seems to be doing well. (He's curled at my side as I type this.)

After Sakari was relaxed I headed to the kennel to take care of some business. I also received a wonderful card there from Crockett's family; I was delighted to get a photo of him surrounded by his family.  I'd heard that Bozo was a bit of a problem child so I took him out for a bit when I was done. It was time for the other kennel dogs to be outside so the big guy went into the park area with me. He had a great time galloping through the acreage and wallowing in the snow/ice. I walked him a bit in the clinic when we returned and his leash manners continue to improve. He's also charming and that goes a long way when meeting new people.

The kennel will fill tomorrow and I only have three spaces so I need to bring home another dog. (Yes, that makes nine.) I have a request for Bozo to stay with a family for a few days after Christmas so I might bring him here to get him ready. I'd love to bring GP home, of course, but it would be hard to return him to the kennel after cuddling with him at home. T-bone and Huntley would probably be the easy ones to handle but they seem to do well at the kennel.

Tonight the kennel was nearly full. Freezing rain was pouring when I was there but it was still pleasant to be out with the dogs. Bozo, Huntley, and T-bone played and GP was more sedate and interested in me, like normal. We also released our friends Garbonzo, Bizou and Sophie. Garbonzo and Sophie seem to be pretty much over their initial hesitation with the big boys. They still get overwhelmed after awhile but they no longer seem to fear the guys.

Bizou made great improvement tonight. She gets so anxious when I go into her run to get her that I've just been opening the door when I first let out the other dogs. Yesterday she didn't come out at all but today she wandered out to check on Kitty (who was cleaning Bozo's run). When I came inside I saw her at the door and invited her to come outside. It took a few tries but she went all on her own! Outside she still cowers when the pack rushes by her but she recovers quickly. She's getting so much better and I enjoy watching her confidence grow.


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