Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Uno's first vet visit

I had been a bundle of nerves since last night. I mean here we were taking Uno on his second car ride with us, to the vet, to get neutered and teeth cleaned (and shots, too). Dogs are barking, there are foreign smells, I mean I felt just horrible for this boy. What would he think of me? Would he regress?

We are lucky enough that one of our best friends just so happens to be a vet. So we, at least, felt comfortable leaving him with his staff. We picked him up after work and he was actually doing fine. The vet agrees with our age assessment of 3-4 years, said that despite all the plaque, he has super healthy teeth, and so far blood work is great. We've got ourselves on healthy lab pup!

He was so loving and friendly to the staff, which just melted my heart. He genuinely loves people! One of the techs commented on just how beautiful he was - his coat, his stature - and said that if he didn't have his scars he'd be a prime candidate for a show dog. I agree. He really is breathtaking. xoxo

It wasn't until we were half way home I realized I flubbed this post by not getting a pic of Uno with his trusty Vet, but I figure once he's healed up and enjoying his car rides, we'll head over and snap up a couple then.

The poor little fella' is asleep in his favorite place right now. Unfortunately, because he's an avid "dog bits" licker, we'll have to put the e-collar on tonight. :(((

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

He's on YouTube!

I finally decided to make my first video on youtube and, of course, Uno is the star of the show. I will have more videos done as we go along, however I wanted the first one to document his scars as a reminder of his life in a lab.

The whole reason we're all here doing what we are doing, whether it's Beagle Freedom, or the group in Spain, or the foster parents, is to raise awareness of animal testing.

Dogs, monkeys, rats, pigs...all are raised as test subjects for drug companies, cosmetic companies, and house hold items. It's disgusting, it's inhumane, and something that S. and I feel very strongly about.

Uno may be one of forty that was rescued, but how many others are out there that aren't going to be given the chance he and his friends received if we don't bring attention to this?

What's a treat?

Before I get into the meat of what this blog is about, I finally got notified that there were comments to be moderated and I can't stop crying. I never thought this blog would become what it has in just a few short days and the comments are beautiful and uplifting. Thank you so much. And Uno thanks you too.

I know I have it on the side bar to the right, but if you can't foster or adopt but want to help these amazing dogs, please, please donate to Beagle Freedom Project. Thank you thank you thank you. xoxo


Now, keep in mind these dogs have not learned how to be dogs. They don't know how to walk on a leash, they don't know that outside is for potty, they don't know treats or toys. I've seen that some of these pups learned many of these already, however Uno is on his own time, which is fine by us.

BUT we also know that in order to train, we need positive reinforcement and for most dogs that comes in the form of treats. Initially, Beagle Rescue Project gave us a couple different treats to try, which we've had zero luck with. So, we bought some at Trader Joes. And, no luck. Tried these chicken strip things from Whole Foods...again, nada. So we went to Centinela where we bought 3 different kinds of treats. *sigh* Big, fat no.

It's become quite hilarious, actually, because earlier tonight I lined up our "treat stash" and took a pic.

We also bought Uno a new harness, one without velcro as that one was just too loud and freaking him out, and he looks amazing. He'll be able to be buckled in with ease as we whisk him to his first vet appointment tomorrow morning. Poor guy goes in for the works: neuter, shots, teeth cleaning, health review. I have never been more nervous or anxious for a vet visit.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mama freaks out, cuddles ensue

I attempted to get Uno to come to work with us this morning and he wanted nothing to do with it. So rather than push him too much too fast, I put him in our room and left him alone around 10a.

About 1p, my anxiety started up - I needed to figure out how to get to Uno. Let him know he wasn't abandoned, let him relieve himself, see if he's okay. Unfortunately, I had a pile of work to get to since we just came off a long holiday weekend. 3:30p rolls around and I'm almost sick to my stomach I'm so anxious. My mind raced as I drove home: "is he okay?", "is the room a complete mess?" "will he revert back because I left him alone?"

I open the door to find him looking at me as if to say "hi!". His tail wags and he comes to greet me. Aside from one little accident and S.'s glasses on the floor (not broken), he was a perfect little boy!

I promised him cuddle time for me leaving him alone, so we snuggled on the couch and I've got a few pics of that.

"I'm checking this blog where you keep writing about's cool."

Cuddles with mama on the couch is awesome.

Now accepting coffee donations for foster parents

Night 3 commenced in our household and the ease of going right to sleep was too good to be true. Around 1a we got our wake up call - actually I mean I got my wake up call, lucky S. slept through THAT particular round of needing attention.

I went back to sleep and around 3a, we got another wake up call. This time it seemed Uno wanted to try to be on the bed. He stayed on for about 15 min and about 5 min in, he decided his foster daddy needed to be given Uno cuddles. This is where S. woke up because Uno was standing on his chest. It was startling to S., but I was all giggles at 3a.

S. got up with Uno around 6a to bring him outside and now we're gearing up for his second car ride to take him to the office with us and our pups! I'm dreaming of a nap already.... *yawn*

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A love for the outside

Uno's growing eagerness for the outside leaves us very hopeful today. He has had 2 successful walks today (our boys, Gizmo and Musashi, who are older and much more subdued, are actually enjoying the short strolls) and he seems more comforted by the outside sounds than the inside ones.

A bus, which had an affect on Uno yesterday simply does not phase him today, whereas the food bowl - that has been the bowl we've used since day 1 - still freaks him out if moved slightly.

He is learning his name, he is learning the stairs, and he is learning a life outside of a cage. This is one smart cookie and I am so proud to be called his foster mommy. I see nothing but great things in his future.

EDITED: I also completely forgot to add that my parents came by this morning and got to cuddle with him. He was a tiny bit shy, but I know they saw how loving and amazing he is.

Good morning!

I tried to snap a good "good morning" shot of Uno, but he was more interested in getting pets - he's not a paparazzi lover. Ha!

We had a much better night than the night prior. Well, kind of. This event was both a blessing and a curse, however we found out that Uno HAS A VOICE!!! And it's a rather loud, typical Beagle voice at that. He was a good dog and slept about 1/3 of the night, but then he got restless and by 3 or 4a, he decided to let us know that he wanted attention and he wanted it NOW!

S. and I took turns giving him cuddles, which made me feel like we had a newborn baby on our hands.

S. decided to take Uno out right when he first got up and, although he peed in the house as soon as he got back in, he did still mark AND walked up the full flight of stairs!!! We are also finding that Uno much prefers the outdoors.

This morning he was a complete part of the family - following S. around in the kitchen while he made breakfast, sitting next to us while we ate, roaming the living room. He does have a fear of the TV so we have decided to keep it off today. Also we have been trying all sorts of treats to use as positive reinforcement, but they are just too foreign. We ended up using smoked turkey pieces and he's addicted!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Small steps for Uno

Today was spent sleeping in our bathroom. For some reason the room and our huge bathmat were comforting and Uno was able to rest after an anxiety-ridden past few days. We went in ever hour or less to give him love and cuddles. Unfortunately, the rest of the house is just too scary for him, so he keeps himself in the bathroom.

After seeing the successes of a few of the other fostered pups, I started to let the doubts creep in. Are we socializing him enough? Are we doing too much? Too little?

However God has a way of showing you things when you need it most. I asked S. to take the dogs out again and after they got back inside S. proclaims, "Hey! Guess who went potty outside?" Not only did we have our first potty training success, Uno was more excited to be outside (versus his shaking, skittish self), AND he climbed 5 stairs on his own.

Next time I'm going out with them so I can snap some pics of Uno enjoying outside and walking the steps. Tomorrow morning we have a walk planned and will get pics of that, as well.

Thank you to all who are cheering us on. It really is very much needed. Here's to Uno.

An overwhelming realization

The past 12 hours for our family have been difficult. I completely lost it last night after I read news stories of what was done to lab animals and why they chose Beagles - although I knew, I think I chose to keep the proverbial "sheet over my head" to pretend I didn't so I could avoid meltdowns such as this.

As S. and I drove Uno home, I expressed concern that I thought Uno didn't have a voice. It seemed he was trying to cry but no sound was coming out. We had even prepped ourselves for the howls and the normal Beagle cries, but nothing came out. In one of these news clips, they spoke of how some techs in the labs would remove the vocal cords so they wouldn't have to hear their cries.

And when one reporter talked about how they were tattooed with their ID#, I was a wreck. Poor S. couldn't even control the sobbing. My heart broke into so many tiny pieces.

How could we [humans] do something like this to these sweet and loving creatures? We failed at one of our basic duties - to keep watch over the animals of the land.

As the night wore on, Uno's pacing finally stopped and he was able to sleep. However, there were many times in the night I awoke to a potty issue or his failed attempts to howl. He was comforted in our floor cuddles. We can tell he's having major issues, though. His favorite spot in the house is one in between two full-length mirrors. I suspect it's because he's with more beagles that way. All he knew of life is now gone and the one thing left that was known was being with these other beagles - and now he's all alone.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The start of a new life

Thanksgiving for my husband and I began like many times years before. While eating our food a friend of ours began telling us about this non-profit they started working with, Beagle Freedom Project. The non-profit had just taken in, the night before, 40 beagles that were rescued from a guy in Spain.

These beagles were the property of an animal testing lab that had gone out of business and were scheduled to be euthanized. Read more about their story here.

They needed foster parents and we both realized that we had to help. S. and I have fostered animals before so we knew the risks ahead. We filled out our app and were approved. Today we picked up our pup.

The cliche that a pet choses you, you don't chose the pet couldn't have been more true. Beagle #1 of 40 told us that we were to be his foster parents.

Leaving the rescue site was a shock. We had to carry Beagle #1 out as he had no idea how to walk on a leash. Driving home was an incredibly anxious ride for our Beagle and it was a major realization that everything my dogs know as normal is new and scary to Beagle #1. He only knew a crate, humans via testing, and whatever food and water they gave him - that's it.

On our way home, S. started calling Beagle #1, "Uno" and although I tried to fight it, I really liked his suggestion.

Once we got home, Uno made himself at home. He was sniffing everything and made sure to continuously check in with S. and I. We had our first in-home accident and the cats didn't really have the reaction I thought they'd have, which was better than I thought.