New House, New Routine

New House *Dusting off the cobwebs on this blog*

Sorry to have abandoned you for months, it was totally unintentional. I got caught up in work and moving into our new house.

To be fully honest, it was mostly house stuff that occupied my brain entirely, leaving me with no focus for things like blog entries.

The move seemed dramatic and like the longest move in (our) history.  Seemed to drag on for ages!

But we are here and we are here full time!  Hooray!

Avery handled the move like a champ.  Since he can be an anxious dog at times, I was concerned that all of the boxes, the mess, and the confusion would cause him to become stressed out.

I shouldn’t have worried because he really couldn’t give a flying fig about it.

Since the move was a local one, we were able to make several trips over to the house for inspections, quotes, and to move some things over.  Each time we brought Avery, allowing him to explore and get excited about “the new place”.

He adjusted really well and when the furniture arrived, he was like, “Oh we’re living here now?  Cool.”  He got used to the new house and the new routine very easily.

Avery in the backyardHe has a fully fenced in backyard to run around in and to sun bath in.  He loves it and loves being outside.

He even seems more relaxed in this space.  Maybe because we are more relaxed and he’s picking up on that? Or maybe it’s just because, like us, he knows this is “home”.

We are settled now though still working on getting boxes unpacked and stuff put away.  With major life changes done for a bit (I hope!), I’m working on creating a routine that allows me some time to blog regularly again.  Looking forward to sharing our journey with Avery and the new adventures in our neighborhood!

 

Busy Bee

Avery in the sunThings have been a little crazy on this end and that’s why I haven’t had much of a chance to update.

I’ve picked up two part time jobs and both of them are doggie related!

I’m now working part time at a pet supply store that sells great holistic foods for dogs and cats.

I’m also working part time at the shelter where I was volunteering!

Coordinating both of these jobs along with making sure I have plenty of downtime to spend at home with my boys is a bit of a challenge.  However I think that I’ll be able to get a routine down soon and it will all work out.

Scott and I have also started looking for a house to buy.  Yikes!  Scary and fun at the same time!

So yeah, life is a little crazy right now.

This past weekend was great though, it was sunny and warm!  We made sure to get plenty of outside time in and Avery loved hanging out in the yard.

We’re hoping that the warm weather is here to stay.  No more snow!

Has spring sprung where you are?

 

Bro Weekend

Horses at Kindness RanchAvery and Scott had a nice bro weekend while I was away with some friends.

I went with a group of ladies to no-where Wyoming to visit a ranch that specializes in rehabbing animals used in research facilities.

All of us are workers or volunteers with Animal House and so we thought that it would be fun to get away for the weekend to visit with others who are also in the animal rescue world.

It was a pretty amazing weekend and I’ll share more about my experience later this week.

This was the first time I left Avery and left Scott fully in charge of taking care of him.  Both did really well!  Our previous dog would pout and mope if I left him.  Avery did great and acted like it was totally normal for mama to leave for days at a time.

Since the location of the ranch was pretty remote, I didn’t have cell phone service (only folks with Verizon got service) which was good because that meant I couldn’t be obsessive with checking in on them.

It was a good experience for Avery because not only was I gone but he also was crated while Scott went out with friends.  That may not sound like a big deal, but Avery doesn’t generalize at all.  We have to treat every new situation as just that, NEW.

Mama gone + being crated = new situation

He did well! The first time he did pull a sheet into his crate but he didn’t chew it or pee on it.  I don’t know what he did with it actually.  The second night he didn’t touch the sheet, which means the second time went better than the first.  Whoo!

It was a great weekend for everyone and boy was I glad to see this goofball when I got home!

Avery being silly

 

Avery’s Swim Session

Avery in a lifevestAvery had his big swim session last Friday.  He seems curious about water and he doesn’t hate getting baths so I was really interested to see if he’d be a swimmer.

Our previous guy hated water so having a dog that might turn out to be a swimmer would be a totally new experience for us.

I’ll give you a heads up and tell you right now that Avery is most definitely not a swimmer.

Nope. Not one bit.

But he tried and did everything we asked of him which is all that we can really expect.  For that I am most proud of him!

Now for how it all went down!

I took Avery to Advanced Animal Care for his swim session.  When you sign up for the orientation, you also schedule a 15 minute appointment with their rehabilitation doctor.  The doctor gives the once over on the dog just to make sure there isn’t anything going on physically that would become worse or aggravated with a swim session.

Once you get clearance, you sign up for an orientation time.

At orientation the dog is fitted with a life vest as a backup because if the dog can’t swim or panics the life vest is there to help them stay afloat.

Avery swimmingThe dog is then taken into the water, right down the steps and in, with the orientation instructor.  I wasn’t a huge fan of Avery just being dragged into the pool right away.  I like to have dogs gently introduced to new things.  But in he went and he splashed around and definitely showed that he was not cut out for swimming.

The instructor had a hold of his vest and was guiding him around and gently talking with him to keep him calm.

Avery swimming

Avery wasn’t having it and wanted out.  Poor guy was so confused on what just happened.

Avery getting a treatOnce he was out of the pool he got lots of loving and treats for being such a good boy.  Then we tried a gentler approach and introduced him to the steps so he could get in and out on his own.

Avery at the poolThe steps are very hard to see and I completely understand a dog not really wanting to step down on them.  We tried to coax him in with treats and I could tell he wanted to step down but was nervous.

Me putting on waddersSo that meant I got suited up and got in the water with him to help show him it was okay.

Avery and I on the pool stepsI had treats and would place my hand on the step so that he could see something was there to step on.  It took some time but he got his paws on the first step.  Then it was time to get him on the second step.

Avery and I on the pool stepsHe got his front paws on the second step but that was about it.  The second step was a big drop from the first one and that made him concerned about what was happening.

I wanted to end the experience on a positive note so at that point I called it a day for him.

Avery in a lifevestHe was such a great boy during the whole experience!  The swimming part freaked him out but I think that’s because he’s never swam before.  That was completely clear the moment he hit the water.

I fully believe that he would enjoy swimming if he could ease into it, like maybe at a lake or something where he could gradually go into the water on his own terms.  And I definitely think it would be beneficial for him to have a swim buddy because that would keep him calmer.

I would always have him in a life vest though if we were to be around water.  I wouldn’t take any chances on him sinking or getting too scared to swim.

If you are local, the check up with the rehab doctor and the first swim orientation are completely free.  Yes, that’s right.  It’s a free service that this clinic does.  The pool is heated, four feet deep and is a salt water pool.

Just make note that the pool is right next to the entrance/exit for doggie day care.  So you will hear dogs in the background and it’s possible that people will be in and out to drop off or pick up their dogs.  This can be a little distracting to the dogs. The pool is fenced so you don’t have to worry about dogs coming into the area while you are having a session.

That’s our experience with swimming!  Does your dog swim?

Social Life

Avery in a life vestAvery is starting to get a pretty busy social life and I love it.  I’m pretty sure he’s even busier than we are!

Avery had his first swimming lesson on Friday.  It was crazy, hilarious, and had several “awww” moments.  More on that later this week!

We’ve also been taking him to doggie daycare on Saturdays.  The staff loves him and since it’s a weekend there are fewer dogs there so the atmosphere is a lot more chill.

It provides us with the perfect opportunity to explore Fort Collins and the surrounding areas.  Since we’re new and just moved here last August, we’re still discovering what all Northern Colorado has to offer.

He has his obedience class on Sunday evenings and yesterday was class #2.  The first class he was really reactive with the dogs in the class.  Being whiny and pulling on the leash to meet them.  This class he was way more mellow.  He reacted at first and then he calmed down and pretty much ignored them unless a dog came too close.

He’s doing so well and with our walking group getting started next month, I think we will be able to get his reactivity under control and easily managed.  The more he’s exposed to dogs and understands he needs to remain calm, the better he will get.

Avery is off to doggie daycare again today!  I want him to get some great outside time before it rains and snows again this week.  Blech.

How was your weekend?

 

 

Worn Out

Avery SleepingLast week was a pretty big one for Avery!  Last weekend he went to his first doggie daycare session and it was a great success.

He was a little confused at first but once he realized that he was there to play and socialize with other dogs, he got right down to business.

This past Friday he was seen by a rehabilitation doctor just to have a brief checkup to see if he would be able to take swimming lessons.

Yes that’s right, I’m taking Avery swimming!  He seems fascinated by water and so I want to see if swimming would be something he actually enjoys.  I found a place here in Fort Collins for swim lessons and I’ll give you all the details next week.  He has his first lesson this coming Friday and we’re all pretty excited about it!

So that means he did pass his assessment and has been cleared to swim.  However during his check-up it was brought to our attention that he is having some pain and discomfort from his arthritis.  And that’s he’s already compensating for it.

This bummed me out.  Our vet had noticed some arthritis starting to develop in his lower back but we were under the impression that it was very early stages.  His checkup with the rehab specialist showed us that it’s a little farther along than we thought.  She also asked if he had been confined for long periods of time.  I don’t know since he’s a rescue but I am assuming that he has.

That very brief 15 minute checkup wore him out for the rest of the day.  I could tell he didn’t feel good and when we got home, he slept on the couch for the remainder of the day.

My poor mushface.

Swimming isn’t supposed to tax him or aggravate his arthritis but I will definitely keep a close eye on him during and afterwards.

He’s already on fish oil but I’m going to add some other supplements in as well to promote joint health.  I’m also researching rehab places around town so that we can help him work through it and get his back muscles strong again.  I may also look into some massage to see if that will help release some tension in his back.

In good news, Avery had his first group obedience class last night!  He did amazing!  Yes he was whiney and wanted to see the other dogs so he was reacting a bit.  However it wasn’t extreme, we were able to get him to focus on us and listen to commands.  He did so well and this is such a great experience for him.  He’s learning his manners and that he can’t always go see other dogs.

It’s really mentally challenging for him to remember to stay calm and be cool which is exactly what he needs right now.  Both of us were worn out after class and crashed on the couch!

So lots of great things happening in Avery’s life right now! Some good and some not so good but we are taking it in stride and doing the best we can with the situation we are in.

More Snow

Avery and Scott in the snowMore snow!  This time it’s completely welcome though! Fort Collins desperately needs the moisture that the snow brings with it.  We already had one wildfire last month due to very dry conditions.  We need to keep that to a minimum!

Last week it was reported that we were going to get hit with a blizzard bringing with it 11 inches of snow and whiteout conditions.

We got maybe an inch of snow.  It was very cold and mighty windy though.

On Monday it was predicated that we would get anywhere from 6-12 inches of snow, total accumulation, starting early Monday morning and continuing through Wednesday.

Well by lunch time on Monday we already had a foot of snow and it was still coming down hard.

We were stuck indoors on Monday so Avery and I worked on some new tricks.  He’s starting to get it but one of them is very challenging for him so it is taking a little bit longer for the concept to sink in.  It is fun watching him try to work out what I’m asking him to do.

We had a little break outside where we played “find it” with treats.  He loves this game so much and since we got a lot more snow this go around, he got to dig in the snow which he found to be very exciting.

It’s Wednesday and the snow is still coming down hard! Weather predictions are that accumulations will be another 8 inches today.  I’m curious to see how much we end up with, this is the most snow we’ve seen since we moved here!

There’s a lot of exciting things going on in Avery’s world right now!  He went to doggie daycare for the first time on Saturday and had a blast being the social gentleman that he is.

This week he will be getting evaluated to make sure he’s in alright condition to take swimming lessons (which I’m sure he is) and then next week he has his first lesson!  Don’t worry, there will be full reports on that!

Also on Sunday Avery starts group obedience classes which I cannot wait for!  Being around other dogs and having to mind his manners is very challenging for him and I know this class will provide great mental stimulation for him.

Lots of fun stuff going on right now!

Play Dates

Avery and Clover in the backyardAfter having Avery tested and knowing for certain he is awesome around other dogs, I’m interested in finding him some buddies for a playgroup session.

Avery loves other dogs so much and he would greatly benefit from having some doggie pals of his own.

I’ve researched some daycare options here and found one that I think will suit him.

However I would like him to have some friends that we could host or maybe rotate hosting spots for little play sessions.

Most boxers like to wrestle, body slam, and of course box.  Avery is no exception, but he does a really great job of reading other dog’s body language and figuring out their play style.  If they don’t want to wrestle, he doesn’t force the issue and he’ll gladly play their way.

This is exciting because it means that Avery has the chance of making a wide variety of friends and get to experience playing in different ways.

Avery and Clover in the snowNow how to go about finding folks interested in a playgroup?  Do I put up a personal ad?

Mature Male Brindle Boxer

Seeking male or female companionship

Must be willing to share water bowls and not be afraid to romp on the first date.

Contact my mom to set up a time for us to meet.

If you and your dog participate in small playgroups, how did you go about finding them?

 

This post is part of FitDog Friday!

Run Fur Fun 5K

Run Fur Fun 5KAnimal House, the shelter where I do volunteer work, is hosting a 5K next month!

It will be their first 5K and it’s a pretty exciting event!

There will be a kids race before the 5K starts.  Participants can bring their dogs and the dogs can run the race as well.  There will be bandanas for the dogs to wear and special bandanas for Animal House Alums!

Adoptable dogs from Animal House will also be at the event participating in the race and also hanging out in the adoption area so folks can meet with them.

Water and snacks at the finish!  Participants will receive a race tee-shirt as well!

The 5K will be on Sunday, May 19th, at 8am.  Race Day packet pickup and registration will be from 6:30 to 7:30am.

The kid’s race starts at 7:30am and the 5K starts at 8am.

Right now there is early bird pricing for the race and registration is only $25!

Early packet pickup will be on Friday, May 17th from 4pm to 6pm and on Saturday, May 18th, from Noon to 4pm.

Click Here To Register!

All proceeds go to support Animal House and their Canine Coaches program.  The Canine Coaches program trains volunteers how to work with the animals at the shelter teaching them basic manners and obedience.  When a dog knows how to be polite and walk on leash this helps them get adopted more quickly.  Because of the Canine Coaches program, Animal House is able to find forever homes for their dogs more easily and efficiently.  Everybody benefits from this program!

This race will be fun for the whole family and a great way to spend a Sunday morning!

Please signup to run or walk and bring your best buddy with you!  It will definitely be a great time for everyone involved!

You can register here!

Weekend Sun

Avery sitting in the sunI wish that I had some more pictures to share with you from the weekend because it was a lovely one.

We had some more awesome spring weather and we fully enjoyed that to the max!

Avery’s favorite thing right now is to go out after breakfast and lay in the sun in the backyard.

He’s never outside unsupervised (ever) so we’ll pack up the laptops and head outside to be with him.

On Saturday we got to enjoy some alone time and headed out to some breweries.  Avery was tucked in his crate with a stuffed frozen kong and we were off to enjoy the weather and some local brews.

Sunday was an all around relaxing day.  We enjoyed a sunny morning but sadly that gave way to overcast skies.

Now our spring weather looks more like this.

Avery in his jacketIt’s snowing and blowing.  The weather forecast predicted 8-11 inches of snow but thankfully that doesn’t seem to be the case.  We only have maybe half an inch by this point but it is super cold with high winds!

Here’s hoping we get our spring weather back this weekend!