Friday, September 30, 2016

Foster Pup Sal Update

It's hard to believe that Foster Pup Sal has been with us for over a month now.  After a long two weeks of quarantine, we've entered a long three weeks of figuring out how to cohabitate now that there's no medical reason to be separated. Despite the struggles, Sal's come a long way in the 5+ weeks that we've been together.


He's no longer the scrawny little dude I brought home. His hip bones are still too prominent, but you can't see his ribs anymore and his back end is filling out. There are still spots--especially on his sides (you can see that in the Week 5 picture) where he's mostly undercoat, but the top coat he does have isn't dull and coarse anymore. Some of it even has a shine and the longer parts are nice and soft.

He's terrified of his foster cat brother. My 13-pound cat strikes fear in Sal's heart. Many a times, we stand in the doorway for over 5 minutes because Soth is standing there looking at him. It takes a lot of coaxing to convince Sal to come back inside when Soth is visible. (Note: Soth has never even swatted at Sal and this fear--unlike his fear of Barley--is unwarranted.)


He likes to know where everyone is and keep an eye on things. In typical border collie fashion, he likes to keep an eye on the flock. Since he's scared of Barley and Soth, that flock is a flock of 1--me. He's not brave enough to go down the basement stairs (which is fine with me because I couldn't carry him back up if he decided he couldn't make it back up), but when I go down, he sits at the top and waits until I come back. 


He enjoys slow, short walks. The day I had him, he couldn't even walk 1/10 of a mile and back. We had to start our walks by going one house down from ours and turning around, then the next day we'd go two houses down and turn around, until eventually we got to the end of the street and could make it back. The first time we walked a full mile, it took us 45 minutes (for perspective, Barley and I walk an 18 minute mile when we're talking our time and enjoying the scenery). Now, a couple times a week, we walk about a 1.3 miles. We still mostly stick to one or two 3/4-mile loops a day, but Sal does enjoy slightly longer walks, so we occasionally walk down to the lake .


For the first few weeks, Sal wasn't very alert on walks. But now he is noticing squirrels and paying attention to the world around him. 


He has also gotten stronger--the first few weeks, he couldn't stand with his front feet on the curb and his back feet on the road--he'd wobble and lose his balance. Now, he's much more stable and I was so happy he could stand like this that I let him sniff far longer than I usually do.


He's cleaner. He came to me pretty stinky with that shelter scent on his fur--but he was so weak that I didn't want to put him in the tub, even with the the non-slip mat we use. When he wandered upstairs in the house one day, I figured he was strong enough for a bath. His first bath was disgusting--the water was so brown. But he got another bath yesterday with some Chewy.com recommended shampoo to help with itchy, dandruffy skin and the water was just normal bath water when we were done. He smells much nicer now!


He's learning what beds are for. The first couple weeks he was here, he was too weak to step on his bed--it was new and poofy and if he stepped on it, he fell over. He would rest his head on it, but that was it. Usually, I'd come into the room to see him just sleeping in a ball in the corner of the room. Now, most days, I walk in and he's sprawled on top of the bed.
I accidentally ruined the cover in the wash--oops.

He loves toys. The second day he was here, I saw his eyes light up with a puppy-like glee when I brought out a ball. He couldn't go after it fast or for very long, but he wanted nothing more than to play with that ball. He will try to tug on soft toys, but ball-like toys are his very favorites. Barley and I picked up a pumpkin toy for him and he even plays with that one by himself.





He still has bad teeth, which makes it hard for him to tug on toys or to carry a ball for long, but the pumpkin seems to be something that doesn't give him any trouble at all. We don't have any updates on if/when his teeth will be extracted and cleaned. That may be something that happens after his adoption. He's still able to eat fine--kibble and wet food--so other than stinky breath and not being able to play tug, he doesn't seem bothered by his teeth right now.

He's cute and he knows it. Now that he's put on weight and has gotten clean, he knows that he's a cutie pie and he expects the world to acknowledge that, too. He's mastered the head tilt for photos and is also very effective at using it against me when he wants snacks or petting.


He's a really fun little dog with a lot of personality. If you or someone you know is interested in giving Sal a home, information about adopting him can be found here.

10 comments:

  1. I can't believe the difference the a month can make,he will make someone a lovely pet,xx Rachel and Speedy

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    1. I know! He's come such a long way! Comparing all of the pictures from our first few days together to his pictures this weekend kind of blew my mind.

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  2. It must be such a good feeling to see him progress! Such a cutie. It will be hard to let him go when the time comes.

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    1. He is a cutie! I actually think that I'll feel very happy for him when the time comes--he doesn't get nearly enough love and attention sharing a house with Barley (even though I know it's better than being in the crowded shelter), so I'm looking forward to the day he can be the center of someone's world :)

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  3. Oh, you've come so far with him - he is looking great! You can see the fluffiness where his fur is thicker. Best of all, you are learning things about him that can help him in his new home. You should feel great about what you're doing for him!
    Jan, Wag n Woof Pets

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    1. He is getting really fluffy! I keep having to resist the urge to braid some of his hair by his shoulders--it's so much longer than the hair any dog I've ever had has had and it kind of makes me want to go back to when I was braiding My Little Pony Hair ;)

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  4. Aw I love this little guy! I hope he will be with a family by the time I visit, but if not, I can't wait to snuggle him :) You're doing a great job with him!

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    1. He will love to snuggle with you--and probably Maddux, too!

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  5. Sal is so darned cute. I cannot stand it. You have done a wonderful job with him.

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    1. He does have such a sweet, goofy face! He's already getting spoiled rotten here, so I know when he finds his forever family he will have them wrapped around his "little finger" in no time!

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