UpdaTED July 17, 2007

 The first six pictures were taken on June 20, when Helene and I first rescued Lucky. The second set of six were taken June 24, at her temporary new home, where she stayed until July 14.

Here is her story so far:

Wednesday, June 20

Through the well intentioned efforts of my friend, I have once again become involved in a dog rescue. This young female had been "marginally" owned by someone in a poor area of Baltimore, and she has had two litters of pups in her short life. Someone called Animal Control, and they took her to the Pound. Helene contacted her friend, who arranged for us to rescue the poor pooch, so today at noon we picked her up. She warmed up to me fairly quickly, and I took her for a short walk on which she relieved herself of a lot of poo and pee. She is a little bit fearful of touch, so sometimes she flinches, but shows no signs of aggression. She was shedding profusely, and large clumps of fur came off as we petted her, and we removed about a dozen ticks. We named her "Lucky", as indeed she is. If not for us, she would almost certainly have been sent to the bridge by now.

Lucky reluctantly got into the back seat of the car with me (probably her first car ride, except for the Pound wagon), while Helene drove out of the city. She sat very nicely, and leaned against me while I petted her. She seemed to relax and enjoy the one hour ride to a place in the country, where Helene's friend has two horses, an old dog and a puppy, and at least 30 cats and kittens, some only a few days old, and all rescued.

When Lucky and the big old dog Jake locked eyes through the fence, they both engaged in a ferocious display of barking and show of teeth, but we kept them apart and they settled down quickly. We had hoped to be able to have Lucky stay in a fenced area until we could get her into the Fallston Animal Rescue Movement (FARM), but when left alone she attempted and nearly succeeded in climbing the fence and escaping. So, we had to make alternate plans, and we took her to my vet's (Companion Animal Care), where she will get necessary shots, an exam, and boarding for two nights while we figure out what to do next.

Now, we are trying to come up with a workable plan. I like the dog, and it would be nice if I could keep her, but I don't know how Muttley would react to another dog. They are about the same size, and she even looks a little bit like Muttley. My friend and I started on the fence project on the hill, but the heat and humidity forced us to stop for the day and attempt to continue next week. Even if it were complete, it would probably not be suitable for long term unsupervised containment, being composed of 4' high goat fence, and located quite a hike from the house. I could probably tie her up outside, as I did with Muttley when I first got him, but that is not a very good option either. I think she would be OK inside the house, but I would not risk that unless she and Muttley had some time together with no major issues. And spending $20 a night for boarding is not a viable long-term option. Helene has a finicky declawed cat, and is unwilling to subject her to the stress of having a dog in the house. So, we are hoping that FARM may be able to find a foster home soon.

If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. Now that Helene and I have become involved with this dog, she has gotten her paws around our hearts, and we are committed to finding a good home for her. She is really a very sweet young girl, and seems eager to please. She seemed to calm down and feel comfortable with us very quickly, and even rolled over on her back like Muttley enjoys doing. She will be a fine pet for someone.

Friday, June 22

Today, Helene and I took Lucky from the vet's where she was being boarded at $20/day, and had made reservations for her to be boarded, closer, at $25/day. On the way back, we stopped at the estate owned by a friend "T" who had taken Muttley for a few days around January 1, before I made the final decision to keep him as my own. "Luckily", he and his uncle "G" were both there, and we introduced them to the dog. Of course, she was a little scared at first, but she was OK after a little while. They agreed to keep her, at least for a few days while we checked out other options. It was encouraging to see that Lucky did not seem very aggressive toward several of the many cats.

Helene and I had to leave, and T and G had some errands to attend to. I returned about 2:30, and they were not back yet. I heard Lucky making some soft whining and moaning noises, and found her locked in a dark garage. When she heard me, she barked, and I let her out on an old chain leash and choker chain that had been used for Muttley. She was happy to get out, and we waited near the pool for about a half hour until T and G returned. She still seemed afraid of them, while she was happy to lean against me and give me occasional "dog kisses".

We installed a 40 foot aerial cable run between two large trees by a gazebo, and she seemed happy enough to wander around and relax in the area while we were there. However, when we went back to the house, she jumped around and barked. They had to leave again, and I did also. I don't know if they returned her to the garage or left her on the run.

My friend "L", who originally introduced me to T and G, visited later, and met Lucky. She let her off the dog run and walked her on the leash, but said she pulled so hard she was difficult to control. She fancies herself a dog trainer, and was able to get her to "sit", by forcing her into the position. She was somewhat concerned when "T" went in the house to tend to some business, and I think "G" also went elsewhere, leaving Lucky tethered once again on the dog run.

I think she will be OK for a few days. It will take some time to see if she really is OK with their cats, or if she might hurt them. One of them is a gentle young cat with cataracts and would probably be highly at risk. Lucky seemed to ignore them at first, but later barked or growled at them when they made a move. At least she is not as aggressive as Muttley was when he was there. "T" said that there was one instance where one of his cats "froze" as Muttley charged after her, and he was just barely able to hold him back before he had a "furry lunch".

For now, though, I am somewhat concerned about having her tethered to the dog run with the choker chain collar. Someone from FARM seconded my suggestion of a harness, or at least a separate collar which could have her information engraved on it so she could be identified and returned if she got loose. Also, I don't know how much I should "take charge" of this situation. I can tell myself that it was not my decision to attempt this rescue, and try to feel good that I have done the best I can to help. But I have already started to "bond" with this sweet dog, and I want to do what is best for her, without getting myself in "over my head".

Sunday, June 24

Today I bought her a nice new blue harness and a red 4' leash to replace the old chain that was Muttley's first leash. I got Muttley a nice international orange collar with a reflective stripe, and I gave his old collar to Lucky. I went to her tentative new home, and found her calmly relaxing in the shade of the trees by her gazebo. I put the new harness on her, and hooked it to the runner lead. She was happy to see me, and followed me around so much it was hard to get good pictures, but some of them turned out very nice. I've updated her "web page" with four more photos

"T" said he has been taking her on several walks each day, and last night he slept in the gazebo to be near her. I think he really does care for her, and will make a good owner. He said she has been eating a lot, which is a good sign. Lucky has not yet tried to eat any of his cats, and she met a workman's Pug with no problems. She really is a sweet dog, and I think she is happy. Her smiles in the new pictures say it all :)

(I have removed previous references to her temporary home since it did not work out).

Tuesday, July 17

Since last Saturday, July 14, Lucky has been staying at a local boarding kennel, where I am also getting additional training for Muttley. I need to fill in some intermediate information (or you can read it all on RPDB or AOL CBB), but today I took Muttley there to meet her for the first time. She was barking loudly when she heard me talking to Muttley, and we walked near the outdoor run where we could see her. She was very happy, while Muttley seemed disinterested. Later, the trainer brought her out, and we walked the dogs near each other to see how they would interact. There were a few uneasy moments, but most everything was quite normal and uneventful. Lucky is more outgoing and playful than Muttley, and she would bark, play bow, and paw him, while he calmly sat or stood there, or came next to me. I carefully petted and praised both dogs, and we noted the good signs of tail wagging, butt presentation and sniffing, and calm, trusting lying on the grass.


It will be an interesting experience to introduce Lucky into my home after she has been spayed on Monday. I am trying to finish an exercise fence where both dogs can have freedom to run and play. I need to move some things around in the house, and I don't know if Lucky is housebroken, or if Muttley may do some marking or other undesirable behavior. Hopefully he will take on an alpha role with her and teach her proper house manners.