Archive for the “Dog Days” Category

Bear is a 6 year old overweight purebred english black lab, sorry, aftican-american lab. And she was down for adventure.

She was dropped off on Wednesday afternoon, and I did my normal long walk introduction. I noticed that she walked perfectly at my left side (leaving my pistol hand free), and seemed pretty low energy. Upon arriving home, she sat while I gave her a cookie, slobbered all over the kitchen floor after a long drink, and let herself in the crate as if to say, “Don’t worry Dave, I’m cool.”


The next morning, we went for our walk, I put down food she didn’t eat, closed up the sliding door to the kitchen and went off to work. Especially for new to me pups, I always come home at lunch for a quick walk, and a quick hello. I unlocked the outer door (the only one I lock) and noticed that the inner deadbolt and doorknob were also locked. I didn’t pay much mind and unlocked them and opened the door. Before I had a chance to think, Bear pushed me aside and took off. I tried to get a hold of her, but ended up falling on my face. Because my sweet calling voice didn’t phase her in the slightest, I ran after her through the nooks and crannies of the neighborhood. Running through gardens, up and down hills and through people’s back yards until she lost me. I found out that even the fat girls can run when they want to.

After searching the neighborhood and the surrounding for about 2 and a half hours, I was ready to give up. I put my tail between my legs and called the head of LR to notify the woman that checks the LR voice mail, hoping to get a hit. The support system was stellar, as almost immediately 3 other LR volunteers offered to come help look. They ended up being not needed as the voice mail had a lone message from a woman saying that she had the dog. Phew!

Here’s what happened: Bear took off, and after losing me made her way to the freeway. She ran south on the southbound 5 for about 3 miles before being picked up on the northbound side. How she wasn’t hit, I’ll never know, but she sure caused a commotion. The woman that picked her up saw that she was a rescue and thought she could just keep her. So she continued her drive back to Las Vegas with dog in tow. She eventually had a little self-awareness to call the number on her tag, where I was able to tell her that she can’t just find a dog and keep her. I ended up driving about an hour north to Temecula to finally pick up the dog. So ends Bear’s little adventure.

When I eventually saw the house, I saw that she tore apart the slide out kitchen door (again), the front door when she inadvertently locked both the deadbolt and the doorknob locks, and tore a big hole in the curtains. I didn’t care about any of that. I was just relieved and happy to have her back.

Since the adventure, Bear has been completely in love with me, following me everywhere. We’ve really bonded.



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Meet Bear. Shes a very insecure lab that seems to be scared of everything. Noises, people, dogs, birds, anything that moves makes her very scared. The nice thing about her, though, is that it never turns into aggressive behavior. She’s the sweetest thing. I knew that it would be easy for me to help her through those issues.


There’s this cool festival in town called Cardiff Dog Days of the Summer every year, and it draws out hundreds of vendors, thousands of people, and more dogs than you can shake a stick at.

Even though LR participation in Cardiff Dog Days was cancelled, I decided it would be helpful to bring Bear to the event knowing that it would challenge her insecurities. It was the perfect place to both overwhelm and help Bear. We walked the mile and a half to get into town for a pre-chaos energy release. Upon arriving in town, I could tell that she was very unsure of it all, so we walked the empty sidewalk alongside of the event so that she could get used to the idea of all the noise, all of the people, and all of the dogs. After entering the middle of it all, it only took about 5 minutes until she was wagging her tail, meeting people and dogs of all sizes and shapes, and as happy as a clam. We walked through the entire thing twice, napped in the park, and left the event with very tired legs.

Although the first day of her vacation stay was a little challenging (more to come), the joy of watching her as a normal well-balanced happy girl (in the middle of something that could overwhelm the best dog) was well worth it.

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She came to me named Cookie. Every dog on earth and in doggy heaven knows the word cookie, so I don’t know if she was responding to her name or responding in anticipation of getting a treat. Her new forever family chose to call her Dixie. I think its a perfect fit for this 10 month old blonde pup. I’ve been reinforcing her name the past couple of days before I drop her off at her forever home tomorrow afternoon.


I picked Dixie up on Friday to find out she wasn’t housebroken. We went for about 7 walks on Friday, and she didn’t pee once. Saturday morning we went around the neighborhood twice, then to the lagoon for about an hour-long walk, and still no pee. Oddly enough, she would pee in the house about 2 minutes after returning from a long, and I mean LONG, walk. Right on cue, 2 minutes after our Saturday morning walk she let loose in the house after holding it for at least 20 hours. Wow, it was a lot of pee. For the rest of Saturday, and most of Sunday she had pee’d in the kitchen 5 times. Every single time was immediately after a walk. Starting Sunday evening, she was peeing outside like a normal dog. That’s a 3 day housebreaking… and for a puppy! Here I am on Tuesday evening without another accident. I’m pretty sure there’s a record broken somewhere in there.

I’ve also taught her that chewing on stuff isn’t cool, how to sit, stay, and heel, and how to catch a ball. She’s a smart pup.


It’s been a busy couple of months in terms of foster dogs, and will be taking a break until I return from Vegas in mid August. You don’t know, but I am competing in a national tournament with my pool team. Wish me luck!

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I fostered Amber for 3, maybe 4 months. She came straight to me from the shelter, and for all accounts, may have lived in lock down for months or years. She had no training, was labeled as aggressive, was not house trained, and was an incredibly high energy dog. In the short few months that I had her, I saw her turn into a well-balanced dog. After a few months of taking her to regular training classes, testing her tendencies in new environments like the beach, lagoon, and many lab rescue events, she became what no one in the organization thought she could be. She loved meeting other dogs, knew her basic commands, walked great on a leash, and stopped defiling our home. This is the reason that I enjoy fostering dogs. It is in the transformation from a dog that does not know love, to one that does. She was a challenge at times, but that made finding her eventual and inevitable forever home that much more gratifying.

When I crossed her name off the board at the event where she was adopted, the other volunteers were truly shocked. I even overheard one woman say in disbelief, “Amber was adopted!?”As much as I do it for the dogs, it was also nice to get the recognition from the organization as being a highly competent foster parent.

Amber has now found a great home with a loving family, room to run, and even a lab pal to hang out with. Good girl Amber.



I’ll introduce you to the puppy I am picking up on Friday. She’s a 10 month old girl that should be a ton of fun to introduce into Cardiff Cove. Gotta do something about her name though. No dog deserves the name cookie.

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Hi guys. In the past few months I’ve fostered 2 labs and placed them in forever homes. I’m picking up another on Friday. Here we have Glory. She was a lazy dog that didn’t need much from me, but it was a pleasure having her around.

Glory was a graceful sleeper…


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Thanks for nothing. Cyrus destroys a pair of shoes in the morning. But that’s not all. A mixture of shredded rugs, shredded collar, bent crate, water and urine all over was what I had the pleasure of coming home to yesterday.

This dog is so close to being kicked out of my house. One more minor hiccup and he’s gone.

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Cyrus is the latest dog, and it’s another sick one. I am ready to take a permanent break from taking on sick dogs that have problems going to the bathroom, won’t eat, and sleep all day. Walks are challenging, you gotta give them meds regularly, and sometimes this guy won’t even budge no matter how hard you pull him to go outside. He has eaten Abby’s food, and bent the metal integrity of his crate pushing his way out on numerous occasions. He has pissed himself, shit in his enclosure, and chewed his leash into 4 separate pieces. When they start destroying your possessions, though, is where I draw the line. I don’t care how sick they are, they will be punished. This morning, I came down to a pair of shoes that were not only VERY expensive, but also completely destroyed. Thanks for repaying the favor of feeding you, housing you, rehabilitating you, caring for you, and keeping you from being put to sleep. You are awesome.

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What does the term Dog Days mean, you ask? After reading the most widely accepted origin (there are a few) through wikipedia I learned that the term refers to the Dog Days of summer (40 days between July and August) as being the hottest time of the year. From what I have found, the ancient Romans derived the term Dog Days from the star Sirius (also known as the Dog Star) which would rise just before the sun during the hottest months of the summer. They would sacrifice a brown dog at the beginning of the Dog Days to appease the rage of Sirius, who they believed to be the cause of the wretched hot weather. Dog days were said to be evil times where floods were commonplace, the seas would boil, disease would run rampant, and dogs would go mad. Interesting stuff, eh?

As you may know, there have been a few sick dogs staying at La Casa De Cardiff lately. Labradors specifically, and the last 3 have had injuries that required surgery. As they are nursed back to health, I feel a sense of satisfaction of doing something good. Without the organization, Lab Rescuers, they would most certainly be destroyed. Fostering is tough at times, but generally a highly positive and rewarding experience.

The most recent fostered dog was Kona. He found a great forever home to a loving family in San Diego. He was a Cardiff resident for about 10 weeks, and in that time he went from sick as a, well, dog, to a happy, playful and grateful pup. Here he is about a week and a half after he arrived. He had surgery on his hind two legs of which one became infected and required the red cast.

After a month of healing and regaining enough strength to go on walks, he lost 15 pounds and was back to being his loyal playful self. Although it’s not always the most ideal situation, the satisfaction of seeing a healthy happy dog far outweighs any inconvenience. He loved hanging out with his bone out back.

Don’t let that pathetic face fool you. He was a happy guy. He was just really good at looking into your soul! How could you not love that face!?

If any of you feel so inclined, look up a few other “dog” gone odd linguistic associations. Sick as a dog, worked like a dog, dogs of war, dog in the manger… to name a few. Every one is generally negative. For being mans best friend they get a terrible rap. I’m thinking these dogs could really use a better agent.


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