Monday, July 30, 2012

Franklin - Adopted!

Arrived - 8/4/12
This is Me!!  Look how handsome I am!!
This is me with my new foster sisters!  This is basically what I do all day...just hang out! 
I am told that I have BEAUTIFUL eyes!  I'm not really an attention hog either, but my foster sisters are and I don't get mad at them at all for it.
I have some long legs!  But who doesn't like tall, dark (er, white), and handsome!? 

I really just like to chill out! :]
This sweet guy was in a pretty scary shelter about 4 hours south of Denver.  Most of the time dogs in that shelter rarely make it out, and Franklin only had a few days left when we heard about him.  A volunteer from another rescue was down at the shelter and saw this handsome face.  He was sitting behind those rusty bars, but as soon as he saw her smiling face, he just lit up!  His little tail started wagging (see blur in picture below) and his butt was wiggling as fast as it could.

This is me when I was still in the scary shelter! :[
That volunteer contacted us and asked us if we had room for this guy!  She didn't know much about him, not really even his gender at that point, just that he was a sweet boy and needed out of there!  We were able to find out that Franklin (as we named him after we found out his gender) was indeed a young male.
We named him Franklin after Missy Franklin, Colorado native, who won her first gold medal on the day we heard about him.

We were able to get Franklin out of there and into an awesome foster home yesterday, 8/4/12!!  He has an appointment with the vet this week for his exam and neuter surgery.  At first glance, we think he is about 1.5 - 2 years old and probably a Pyr/Akbash mix.  He has a shorter coat like an akbash, but those great Pyr eyes, nose, and ears.

This is me getting out of that scary place!!

Franklin's foster mom says that he is the most perfect boy ever!!  This is what she has to say about him:
I spent two hours at Wash Park with him and my other foster... He is as close to perfect as you could get... such a good looking boy too! I think he cannot be more than 1.5 yrs. Great with all dogs, kids, people... very chill and seems a little passive...whoever adopts this boy is going to be stoked!
Franklin is doing wonderfully in his new foster home!  He gets along great with everyone - people and dogs.  He is quite a bit underweight, only weighing about 70# right now, but his foster mom is working on "fattening him up"!  He is just an angel, and really a perfect pup!  He loves to go romp in the yard with his foster sisters, but doesn't beg for attention and would rather just"hang out" with everyone.  Whoever adopts Franklin won't be disappointed!

We love our rescue dogs so much, so we are letting Franklin feel a little stability in his new foster home, and get some healthy meals into his belly!  We are hoping he'll be ready to start meeting potential forever families soon!

If you would like to add this sweet angel to your family, please fill out our online adoption application

Sometimes I'm a silly boy...
This is my friend Pearl Bear giving me some love...she loves me a lot, but who couldn't?!
Sometimes she loves me SO MUCH she never leaves me alone, but I don't really seem to care :]
See, I told you I am a handsome, happy boy!
"It feels so nice to be out of that shelter!"

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jerzee - Adopted!

Jerzee [now Bodhi]
 Jerzee and his PYRfect new family - Henry, Lane, and AJ the Golden Retriever!!

Henry, Lane, & AJ drove all the way down to Brighton, CO from Casper, WY and back in one day to meet and adopt our sweet Jerzee boy!  He is one lucky pup and will be enjoying a big grassy yard, his new playmate, and lots of grandchildren to play with!  Thank you so much Lane & Henry for giving this boy the life and attention he deserves!

Jerzee, now Bodhi, settling into his new home and bed!

Hi my name is Jerzee!  I am looking for a new home with someone who has the time for a little puppy guy like myself!  My family bought me when I was just an itty bitty fluff-ball from some store in the mall - they said I'm a Great Pyrenees, but I think I might have some Golden Retriever in me, which just means I might "listen" a little better than your average Pyr - who knows!  I'm not quite sure what happened but my daddy moved out and away to California for a new job and was suppose to take me with him, but I guess he couldn't find anywhere that allowed doggies my size.  Right now I am really skinny like only 61#, but I am going to be a pretty big guy when I'm all grown up!

My mommy has 3 human sons and 2 other smaller doggies that keep her very busy and she doesn't have time to take care of me anymore now that daddy is gone.

I get along with the other 2 small doggies I live with (they are only 10# each), and every time I see another doggie when we are out walking I am really, really nice.  I have never met a kitty before, so I don't know if I would like those things or not, but I tell you what...I really love all of them!  I have never been mean to anyone before - doggies or people!

I am still very much a puppy and I really need someone to tell me what I am and am not suppose to do because right now I sometimes like to chew on things (like your shoes - they are my favorite!) and I like to dig holes, but I just call them "yard art."  I really love to snuggle and cuddle and I'm kinda of giant and fluffy so I could be like your very own doggie pillow!  I like to give people hugs sometimes, but for the most part I am a pretty chill kinda guy and really just want to be with you and love you forever and ever and ever!

Mommy says she is really sad to see me go and that she wishes she had time to give me the time and attention that I deserve.  I told her that's okay, that the nice people at the rescue said they would make sure I went to the most PYRfect home possible!

Update - 7/15/12 - 3:00 PM

We just picked Jerzee up from his family around 12:30.  In the few hours that we have him, he has been an absolute ANGEL!  We took him to the dog park with another Pyr (in the small section of the park) to see how they interacted.  While we were there he was very curious about the dogs on the other side of the fence, so we let him go over and meet them.  He met several dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds and did absolutely wonderful with all of them.  It seems that he hasn't had a lot of human attention as he is a bit shy around people at first (even though he does fabulous with other dogs), but he has warmed up quite a bit and has found one of Reg's (my Pyr) little toys that he really likes and has been carrying it around with him.

He could definitely use a puppy training class as he doesn't really know much in the ways of "sit," "down," or "come."  If I had to guess, he would do just fine with kitties...he has no interest at all in squirrels or bunnies and is pretty calm in the house.  

He would definitely benefit from a playmate and an dog to look up to (he has been following Reg around and barking for play).  We think he would do fine with an alpha as he is pretty submissive himself.

We will post more later. :]

Jerzee and his Squeaky toy!

Jerzee and his buddy, Reg!

"My foster brother, Volker, is afraid of thunder storms and hides in the shower!  I'm not scared of them at all, but I'm so loving that I decided he shouldn't have to hide from them alone, so I joined him!"

Yazhi (Ya-zee)- Available for Foster/Adoption

"Hi, everyone.  My name is Yazhi, which is Iroquois for "little one".  My mom adopted me when I was 6 months old, and now I'm 2 1/2.   My mom loves me *so much*.  I am so super sweet and cuddly, and I love giving kisses.  I have worked with a really good trainer (he used to train police doggies), and know sit, come, down, heel, and "load up" (to get in the car).  We've also worked on barking. I'm good on a leash and I am definitely a "people person"!  I love people and I love cats. I thought I didn't love other dogs, but I learned today that I do.  I'm super soft and dainty, I'm definitely a smaller girl!  I am suppose to be a Great Pyrenees, but my mom said the DNA test said I am a Pyr/Kuvasz mix.  My mom says I am a good off-leash dog when I go hiking!  I stay on the trail with her, and that definitely makes me special.

My mom hasn't had the easiest time with me, because I have been bullying some of the dogs in my life.  Sometimes I like them a whole bunch for days on end, but something happens and they make me mad and I have pinned them down.  My mom told Christie and Shannon that the dogs I meet are submissive dogs, and perhaps I am too alpha for them and for my mom, who struggles to be "alpha" over me.  My mom has many important other dogs in her life, and she doesn't want me to stay with her anymore because I am not always nice to them. She is worried we may all hurt each other.

Having heard this, the nice girls I met today took me to Ken's house so I can play with his doggies and I could show them what a good girl I really can be.  Ken's kids are all pretty "in charge", and I thought that was fine.  They didn't phase me at all, and I never got upset or angry at them.  I was such a good girl!  Even when the one girl growled and nipped at me, I took it in stride and I didn't hold a grudge.  I had fun hanging out with them today!
"This is me at 5 months old, when Dawn & Ken first rescued me!"

Because I am loved, I am spayed and up-to-date on shots and heartworm preventative.  Please let me know if you can foster me, or if you think you may be able to love me forever.  I was told that my real brother, that I came into the rescue with when I was 5 months old, lives with Shannon.  His name is "Cahota" and he is a sweet boy.  The lady who has my brother said she already loves me a lot, and she will do her best to find me a new home with doggies that I like, and that like me.
"This is my brother, Cahota, who lives with Shannon"
I think my ideal home is one where I have an alpha buddy to love me, play with me, and make sure that I stop being a bully.  I just need a confident home that helps me to understand where I fit in; I had no problem being submissive today!  I would love to live with someone who likes to go hiking, and who loves a best friend and wants to cuddle with me.  I am pretty sensitive to visual stimuli, so it needs to be either okay that I bark at squirrels and such, or you will need to be sure they don't taunt me all day!  I am so loving and sweet, and if you have a kitty I would love that, because I love kitties. If you have another dog, I just would like to meet him or her first to be sure we get along.  My mom is going to donate all my food and toys, so I will be ready to make your home my new home!"

If you think I sound like I might be a good fit for you and your family (either to foster or adopt), please email Shannon at

"I'm sad, because I think I heard someone say I needed to find a new home"

"I have so much love to give"

"I let everyone touch me all over, and I just wanted to cuddle!"

"Nice to meet you, Tucker!"

"The nice lady said she was holding onto me to be sure I was as sweet as I looked!"

"I didn't get mad at Annie for growling at me"

"My new friend, Annie, didn't like me at first.  It didn't bother me, and I won her over with my submissive nature today"

"I got along with my new friends just great today!"

"I love giving gentle kisses!"

"I am so soft and snuggly!"

"I just like to take things in!"

"Just hanging out, watching my other new dog friends"

"I'm a pretty mellow lady"

"I am so good in the car, and I jump right in!"

The Right Way to Surrender a Dog

Surrendering a dog is an ugly business, not just for the person or family giving them up, but also for the rescue trying to facilitate helping that dog find a foster and new forever home.  It occurred to Christie and I to post an article about this, because we think that those who are surrendering could benefit from understanding more about how to do it "the right way".

This is in no way to suggest we condone, IN ANY WAY, owner surrender, but sometimes there are exceptional cases.  Sometimes good people find themselves in bad situations. In addition, wishing no one would surrender their dog will never make it happen.  We have found that many who have contacted us for surrender do it in an unorganized manner and with little to no thought about the logistics of how the process works.  If better educated, they can make the process go more smoothly and the dog can find a new home faster.

Nine times out of ten, this is what we are on the receiving end of:  email: "Hi, I have a Great Pyrenees that I need to re-home ASAP.  Please contact me."  What ensues afterwards is a week's worth of emails back and forth, trying to ascertain the pertinent information about the dog, followed by another week of trying to educate the surrendering family about how the process works and what to expect.  This becomes more lengthy and frustrating than it needs to be; here are some tips for those seeking to surrender their dogs:
  1. Be ready to say goodbye.  By the time you reach out to rescue, have your mind made up.  Let them have said "goodbye" to the kids and friends, and be ready to get them into rescue.  Have your recent health history documents ready for transfer.  Don't say you 'don't know where they are' or you are 'unsure of their vaccination history'. Be thoughtful: rescues function on donations and volunteers.  You are getting rid of your dog; take the time to get them up to date on a vet visit and vaccines and have those documents on hand to give to the rescue.
  2. Your rescue will want to move fast.  There are a lot of dogs who need saving, and taking weeks on end to work on re-homing your dog takes up valuable time that can be spent saving more lives.  Be available to transport your dog to where he or she needs to go.  A rescue is taking your dog, doing a lot of work, and spending money: do not be unprepared to put some effort forth to help facilitate the transfer.  "Can't you just come pick him up?".  Yeah, sure... but, really?  Meet a rescue, at least, half-way.
  3. Provide information right away.  If you contact someone via email, ensure it is a thorough email which details all information about the dog. This part is really important.  Name, age, weight, sex, temperament, interactions with children/cats/other dogs, where you live, who did you get him/her from and when, how long you can keep him (how much time do we have to re-home?), can you "foster" him/her until we find a forever home (or do they need to move out into foster ASAP), and lastly and most importantly, why you are surrendering.
  4. Be honest.  Be honest about you, your dog, and especially why you are giving them away.  Without your total and complete honesty, the dog may not find it's most suitable new home.  Think about the next family:  you told the rescue it's fine with cats, but he's not.. and he bites the next family's pet.  You're afraid if you say "they are not good with kids" that the rescue won't take them.  So what?  They likely will anyway, but now they will be placed in a home with no children.  When you answer the question about why you are giving them away, consider the dog, not your reputation.  This is important in understanding the next suitable home.  If you are getting rid of your dog because you just don't like him anymore, just say it.  If it's a serious behavioral issue, it is irresponsible not disclose it.  Don't worry about what "we're" going to think, because it doesn't matter.  What matters is saving the dog and getting them into a new home.
  5. Don't expect control over the situation. You decided to surrender, so do it fast and do it right and do it honestly.  People surrender and often request to personally select their foster or their next forever home.  If that is your level of desired involvement, don't ask a rescue for help re-homing, rather do it yourself (unless you adopted from a Rescue, because re-homing yourself is in violation of your contract). You could be a great, amazing, caring person.. but bottom line, you made the wrong choice when you adopted your dog: leave the next choice for a home to the experts.
  6. Have some money put aside for this surrender.  It is courteous and right (and required by most rescues) that when you surrender, you make a donation to the rescue who is taking them.  It shows you have integrity. This will help the charitable, volunteer-run group pay for dog food and other expenses in the short term.  Hand over all toys, remaining food, and any other items you purchased for this dog previously.
  7. If you think you should surrender your dog, you probably should.  We get emails from people who are unsure and share many nervous, emotional emails about the process.  If you are looking for advice on how to *keep* your dog, contact us.  Advice on behavior, etc. is always freely given: we want you to keep your dog.  However, the right dog owner for that dog will *never* have surrender cross their mind.  I truly believe if it even comes into your thought process, then it's probably a good sign that you need to surrender them.  
  8. Last and definitely not least, if you adopted your dog from a rescue YOU MUST SURRENDER YOUR THEM BACK TO THE RESCUE YOU ADOPTED THEM FROM.  All rescues have a contract that you signed, where you legally committed to doing this.  Do not surrender to a shelter or other rescue, and do not re-home them yourselves.  In the instance you decide it is no longer going to be your dog, it becomes the "property" (bad word) of the rescue who originally provided him or her to you.  Be a person of your word.
Be thoughtful, considerate, and loving during this process.   You owe it to this dog to give him or her every bit of you in those last days or weeks. You promised to keep him or her and love them forever, and you are now breaking your promise.  No matter how well and perfectly this re-homing is made for a dog, it takes an emotional toll.  They loved you, believed in you, and gave you their heart.  Now, they are out and they don't know what they did. They will miss you, and they will never understand.  Take care of their health, communicate with the rescue appropriately and honestly, and be willing to sacrifice some gas money to get them where they need to go.  You will feel much better about your role in the surrender if you take all the appropriate steps.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Vaccines and Your Dog

While we've mentioned certain diseases on this blog previously, it occurred to me that we never really just plainly talked about them as a whole.  It can be confusing: what you need and when and why, what is required by law, or what kind of a schedule your dog should be on.  Please note that different veterinarians will make different recommendations for your dog's particular age and health status, and also based on their lifestyle.  During those "puppy" series, there may also be some differing recommendations.  Always bear in mind that medicine is a constantly evolving arena, when it comes to new studies and illnesses. This article is meant to be a general guideline to help you get a better understanding of the recommendation that I am most familiar with at this time.  *As with all things* when it comes to your dog, seek advice and guidance from your veterinarian and use all other sources of information as general guidelines.

This vaccine is required by law, and it is only viewed as legal if administered by a veterinarian. Our dogs get this vaccine for the first time around age 16 weeks.  If your puppy is on a schedule of visiting the vet 3 times for a vaccination series, this vaccine would occur at your last visit.  For vaccines in general, puppies get vaccinated at 6-8 weeks, then 10-12 weeks, then at about 16 weeks.  After their first shot, they will return in 1 year for another, that will be good for one more year.  After that, if they visit on time when each vaccine is due, it will turn into a 3 year vaccine.  It is the same vaccine given, but the theory is that after we build that initial immunity with those first 2, one-year shots, they will only need the shot every 3 years to maintain vaccinated status.  This is considered a "core" vaccine, meaning one you really must get, beside the fact it is illegal if you don't.
More on Rabies

This is referred to as the "Distemper Combo" vaccine.  It can be abbreviated many ways, one of them being DHLPP.  This vaccinates against Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvo virus, and Parainfluenza.  It can also be just DHPP, as often Leptospirosis can be separated out from this vaccine and given separately.  This is also a core vaccine like Rabies, though not required by law.  Your puppy will get this shot 3 times, at each of those 3 puppy vaccine visits mentioned above.  After the last shot at 16 weeks, they will get the shot again in 1 year.  After that, they will get that vaccine every 3 years.
More on Distemper

If not included in your veterinarian's Distemper combo vaccine, this will stand alone as it's own shot.  Alone, it is not considered a core vaccine, though it makes a lot of sense, especially for dogs in Colorado who have such an active outdoors lifestyle.  This vaccine can be given as puppies over two visits with the other puppy visits, and then it is given annually.  It is only good for 1 year each time.  If your dog is an adult who never received it, they will get an initial shot which will need to be boostered a few weeks later.  From there, it becomes an annual visit.
More on Leptospirosis

This is commonly referred to as the "Kennel Cough" vaccine, and while it's not a core vaccine, it's the one that boarding and day care facilities will require.  Your pup may receive this twice during their puppy visits, and most facilities will ask for proof of vaccination every 6 months.  If you are not boarding or taking him to day care, your vet may just booster this once a year.  This vaccine can be given intranasally (liquid squirted into their nostrils) *or* via the typical injection.
More on Bordetella

Other vaccines:
Your veterinarian may make recommendations for others, such as Canine Influenza (a newer disease in dogs) or Lyme's disease, which is a very standard vaccine for dogs living in the Northeast. 

Vaccines are given, with the exception of intranasal Bordetella, as subcutaneous injections.  This means your vet or tech lifts their skin and injects the liquid just under the surface of their skin.  They use a very small needle, and it causes very little pain or discomfort. The injection itself is only about 1 milliliter of fluid.  They will often give each vaccine in different locations on your dogs body, so in the event of an allergic reaction, they will know which vaccine caused it.  Allergic reactions are possible, but on the whole vaccines are well-tolerated.  They all can cause some sleepiness afterwards, and this is normal.  What to look for to understand a potential allergic reaction would be things like extreme lethargy and/or face swelling.  If your dog acts anything other than "a little tired", call your clinic immediately. 

To dispel some myths I've heard from time to time, there is *no* vaccine that you give one time that works forever.  I've unfortunately met owners who thought that "they were vaccinated" meant it was done and over after one visit and shot.  There is also no vaccine against Heartworm Disease; you use your once monthly oral tablets for this.  Animals *can* get a sarcoma (tumor) from vaccinations, but this is the exception, not the rule.  If you are concerned about the risk factor to your pet, discuss all these concerns with your vet.  Your dog is *not* vaccinated the minute they get an injection.  If you vaccinate your pup for Leptospirosis today, and they drink from a contaminated puddle tomorrow, they may very well get the disease.  A body takes time to respond to the vaccine and build immunity.  Ask your veterinarian about the time frame they are comfortable with for your dog, before you expose them to contagions.  It is not wrong or uncommon for your doctor to hold off on vaccines if your dog is sick.  If their bodies are busy fighting something else off, it may make sense to let their bodies do just that, before introducing another job for it to do.  The last myth:  older dogs don't need vaccines.  It is potentially quite the contrary.  I've met owners who felt like their dog "lived all this time" and never got "anything", and they must be immune "by now".  Never mistake lack of previous exposure to immunity: they are not immune unless they are vaccinated.  We tend to think of Parvo and Distemper as puppy diseases, because they do get them the most.  They get them the most because their immune systems are not fully developed.  Just like in humans, as we age, our immune systems become weak.  Our older dogs are again at risk of diseases when they are immuno-compromised.  I once asked a vet what was the oldest dog he ever met with Distemper.  His answer: 10 years old.

Vaccines are not expensive, but treating the illness they get if they are not vaccinated is.  Even if you believe your animal to be one with little exposure to other animals, they are still at risk.  Believe your doctor when they explain that your puppy is "under-vaccinated" until they have received their 3rd and final round of "puppy shots".  I think it's important to understand how immunity works, and never take risks.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bella - Adopted!

Bella - ADOPTED!
After an overwhelming response from our previous CGPR adopters, Bella found her forever home and was adopted last night by a couple who adopted Juno (formerly Paris) from CGPR in April of 2010!

Bella will enjoy her new humans, doggie-sister, and a big fenced back yard where she can romp around and play 
(something she is very good at)!

By the happy little smile on her face, 
we think she will be a VERY happy pup!

Thank you Kevin & Jeryl for giving this special girl a FURever home!

She might miss her foster-sister Annie though...

This is me!
I already know how to sit pretty for a treat!!

This was my story:
Hi, my name is Bella.  I used to live on this big farm in Agate, CO with my family, little humans, and doggie friend...well, at least I thought they were my family, but then one day they packed up and left me and the other doggie and the horses at the farm.  I thought they forgot me, because I didn't think they'd ever come back.  One day they did come back.. but only to get some of the horses they left.  I ran and ran after their car, but I couldn't catch them, so I was just left there to fend for myself.  I don't know why they would abandon me like that.

These nice people at one of the other farms started feeding me, so I would come around and hang out with them.  They fed me really good stuff, like chicken!  They knew I needed a family, so they called a rescue to see if they could take me.  Well, they did! Now I just need a family that will love me forever and never, never leave me or give me up again!

I am a really, really sweet little girl!  I am probably only like 8 months old, and I get along with other doggies.  I have never met a kitty, but I really like to chase bunnies, so I think I might like to chase a kitty too.  I like little humans too, as long as they are gentle and sweet to me.  I am a typical Pyr, in that I need to be on a leash or in a secured fenced area at all times because I kinda' think the whole world is my backyard that I need to protect.  The nice people at the farm had to catch me so the rescue people could come get me, and I got out of the kennel and didn't come back until the next day, so I need someone committed to having me on a leash or in a secure backyard!

If you think I sound like a good fit for your family, please see the contact information at the bottom of this post and tell the nice people you would like to fill out an adoption application for me!

I like to hang out with other doggies sometimes
and sometimes they give me kisses
All this transportation and rescue stuff has really exhausted me