Puppy Time!

The puppy is here! ¬†After a long journey from Tennessee, two baths to remove the filth, a long collar-buying excursion, an even longer naming-the-puppy adventure; I’m finally here with pictures ūüôā

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Get ready for cuteness overload.

First of all, we named her Marshmallow, or Mel for short. ¬†Something about her white squishy face just called out, “Marshmallow!” ūüôā When she is a lady, perhaps she’ll go by Mel. ¬†To be professional, of course. ¬†But for now, Marshmallow is settling in and doing wonderfully. ¬†She already got to meet the whole human family, Blueberry, Leroy, and Major the cat. ¬†Positive socialization is starting off ¬†strong!

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Marshmallow is 10 weeks old.  She is spayed and will be up to date on her shots.  We will be working on crate training, socialization, house training, and basic obedience.  Mel is curious about the world around her.  She is slightly cautious, but ready to play and explore.  She is loving all the human attention, and desperately trying to woo the adult dogs in the house into some wrestling and play time.  She will need a committed, life long, adopter who is willing to  make her the best dog that she can be.  And I will need an adopter who will fall head over heals in love with her- not just as a puppy, but as she goes through the challenging teen years, the frustrating adolescence, the slowing in adulthood, and the tender years of old age.

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oh hai. iz a marshmalloz.

More exciting puppy-ness to come as she settles in!

If you have questions about Marshmallow or the adoption process, email me (Casey) at LeroyandCompany@gmail.com!         

More Happy Tail Updates!

Adele, my very first foster dog, has been in her forever home for almost two years now! ¬†She found a¬†wonderful forever mom who adores her and puts up with all her crazy issues! ¬†Adele has also gone on to be a foster sister to other puppies in need. ¬†She has grown into a beautiful dog. ¬†I love seeing how much she’s beefed up since I pulled her out of ACCT, a scrawny mess of a dog. ¬†So here she is, Adelle-

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Look at that!

Leroy and I have been working on a command for quite some time. ¬†Sometimes I thought, “Hey, he got it!”. ¬†But most of the time, I felt like he had no clue what it meant. ¬†This command is, “Look at that”. ¬†I am asking Leroy to look for what I’m pointing at or something exciting, and then look back at me. ¬†Jackpot- reward- good boy! ¬†The problem is that what I’m asking him to look at is exciting. ¬†So there may be a cat, bird,¬†screaming¬†tiny human, another dog ect. ¬†And when Leroy sees these things, he goes into crazy dog mode. ¬†We had done a few solid Look at that’s in the past, but it was not very reliable. ¬†Leroy is better at working on this command inside and looking out the back door at the cat. ¬†But once we are outside, things are harder. ¬†However, today we had a wonderful walk! ¬†And it was a warm-spring-fever¬†day with lots of activity around the neighborhood. ¬†GO LEROY! ¬†Leroy is also at week 4 on Prozac, and I think I’m starting to notice subtle differences. ¬†We’ve also been working our butts off with training. ¬†So it’s hard to say what is causing the progress. ¬†But I’d guess a combination of both.

So today on our walk, we had a¬†lot of our “good stuff” training rewards- specifically, a huge chunk of the food roll. ¬† ¬†Here is the tally of our walk and what we “failed” or reacted poorly at, and what we “passed” and did a wonderful “look at that” followed by a great “look back at mommy and get tons of food”.

Screaming child #1- Fail. ¬†But just a minor fail. ¬†Leroy doesn’t like screaming tiny humans. ¬†It freaks him out. ¬†He had a minor reactive moment, but we were able to keep it together and walk away in the other direction.

Screaming child # 2 and 3- Pass.  There are a group of kids that play in the culdesac by my apartment.  Bouncing balls and a bike, plus some noise- at a further distance, we passed!

Randomly scattered adult humans- Pass. ¬†Usually Leroy does keep it together when we’re around people. ¬†But if he’s especially worked up or if it’s dark, he can react poorly. ¬†But today we walked around and did great.

Two yappy dogs in their fenced in yard- Pass! ¬†This was a close call, because man were they yappy. ¬†But he sat, did a “Look at that”. ¬†Then we got a little closer and did another “Look at that”. ¬†At this point they had noticed us and started wailing. ¬†But Leroy still looked back at me for a hunk of food- good boy! ¬†Then we hurried past their home. ¬†Not walking wonderfully on the leash, but not freaking out either!

Homeless man in a wheelchair- Pass. ¬†Leroy’s eyes lingered on this for a beat too long. ¬†But he did in fact look back at me with no poor reaction!

Slow moving pack of cats- PASS. ¬†This is huge, huge, for Leroy. ¬†He’s had a few¬†unpleasant¬†run ins with the feline species, and I’ve declared him as “Not good with cats.” ¬†He feels the same way about them, as they do him (see picture). ¬†Luckily, he’s never done any damage! ¬†But we keep them apart anyway ūüôā ¬† Normally he would totally loose his cool over cats, especially when they’re moving. ¬†But we saw three sauntering kitties across the street. ¬†And Leroy did an excellent “Look at that”! ¬†He also did great when we saw a sitting kitty who was in a yard we walked pass.

i gotz beaded up bai a kitty

Skateboard- Fail.  Leroy hates the skateboards.  He looked at it, and then he tried to eat it.  Hmpm.  Too much, too soon!

Garbage bags x9- Pass. ¬†It seems like the whole¬†neighborhood¬†did spring cleaning and had their trash out early. ¬†There wasn’t much lunging for smells and crumbs of garbage. ¬†And their also wasn’t any- “Moving plastic bag?!- Attack!”, which has happened in the past. ¬†So very good!

i iz ready fo me yumz yum.

i iz ready fo me yumz yum.

Thanks again to our trainer Michaela at Opportunity Barks! ¬†And good job Leroy ūüôā ¬†We will keep working on the “Look at that” command, because it seems to be a great tool to have mastered!

 

If you have any questions about Tofu, becoming a foster parent, or the adoption process- you can email me (Leroy’s mom) at Casey@caseyheyen.com

Sponsor me here!- 5k Race to Rescue

Temporary Fix

Although the concept of a foster home is inherently temporary, I am sad to report that Tofu will be moving into a new foster home as of tomorrow. ¬†This was not a quick or unplanned decision. ¬†In fact, I was not planning to foster at all this semester because I knew what would be happening in April and May. ¬†I am finishing my last semester in graduate school, preparing for the Annual Student Exhibition, and planning to move back home with my parents. ¬†I will graduate in May with my Masters in Fine Art from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. ¬†And soon after that, I am moving back to Scranton, PA to save money and live with my parents. ¬†Sadly, these situations are just not fair to a foster dog. ¬†But most importantly, I cannot bring her when I move back home. ¬†So as I said, I was not planning this to foster at all this¬†semester. ¬†Sure… I could have probably squeezed in a foster puppy less than 4 months old, or a super gorgeous, highly adoptable blue nose pittie who loves cats and other dogs. ¬†But that’s not my typical foster dog, we have plenty of foster homes for them. ¬†I was just going to take a break.

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But when the LCPO president asks me to help out, it’s hard to decline. ¬†I do have a heart after all! ¬†We had been cross posting for Tofu for a few weeks, with no interest. ¬†(Her name was Mama back then) Her scumbag breeder¬†“owner” was leaving the halfway home and about to hand her off the first offer he got. ¬†Actually, the one offer declined once he found out she was spayed (thanks to Almost Home rescue). ¬†No more Mama for this girl. ¬†But another person was still happy to pick her up, we can assume for less than honorable reasons since dog fighting is common in that area. ¬†So things were becoming dire and we just could not see her end up in bad hands. ¬†So I was asked to take her in. ¬†I said yes, but with the understanding that as finals approached, she would need somewhere else to go. ¬†This is something that easier to say than follow up on. ¬†And if I could keep her, I would.

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As a foster mom, I feel responsible for my foster dogs until they find their perfect forever home. ¬†As the saying goes, “Fostering is not a lifelong commitment, it’s a commitment to saving a life.” ¬†I hope that this is the last time I will take a foster in, and have to say goodbye before they have found their forever home. ¬†It truly breaks my heart to uproot Tofu. ¬†She has made amazing progress with me in terms of being a wonderful companion, preparing for that perfect home, and learning how to trust Leroy. ¬†I will be worried about her being moved, confused, and starting this process over again. ¬†And they all must do this again when they are moved to their forever family.

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The one benefit of her new foster home is that there is a well balanced female dog (along with a handful of other great pooches!). ¬†Because of Tofu’s past as a breeder dog with little, if any other¬†socialization, we think that she may feel a little more comfortable with female dogs. ¬†However, it will likely still take her time to adjust and feel at ease with them. ¬†But her new foster mom knows how to take things slow, so Tofu will be given a nice opportunity so¬†socialization¬†with a variety of other dogs. ¬†I am hoping that this benefits her in the long run, ¬†and allows our rescue to know what type of home will be best suited for her in the future.

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But for my girl Tofu, just because you are leaving me, I will not feel any less responsible for you. ¬†I will think about you, and bother your new foster mom with questions. ¬†I will worry and hope. ¬†I will cross post and blog about you. ¬†When someone says they are looking for a dog, I will suggest you. ¬†I will miss your cuddles, kisses, and happy butt wiggles. ¬†I will meet your forever family and see you on your way before you are adopted. ¬†You will always have a¬†piece¬†of my heart. ¬†And I will love and care about you always. ¬†I am sorry that I was your temporary fix, but I am thrilled that I was able to help in saving your life. ¬†You will never live in a yard again; never know¬†loneliness,¬†cold, or hunger. ¬†You are safe and we will take care of you… until that special family finds you and wants to call you their own. ¬†‚̧

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If you have any questions about Tofu, becoming a foster parent, or the adoption process- you can email me (Leroy’s mom) at Casey@caseyheyen.com

Sponsor me here!- 5k Race to Rescue

The Good Stuff

Yesterday I wrote about the Reactive Rover training class that Leroy and I finished. ¬†Woo Leroy! ¬†(more on that later, I promise) ¬†I mentioned that I bring the “good stuff” to class, meaning that I stock up on very high value treats. ¬†Here is a run down of what we use, and why we use it!

When I first signed Leroy up for training classes, I was worried that he would be so stressed out that he would ignore all of my special treats! ¬†Sometimes when we are in a scary place like the vet, Leroy¬†doesn’t care about food. ¬†This is always hard for me to believe, because he LOVES food. ¬†Seriously, he loves it. ¬†So I was concerned that he would be stressed and just say “meh” to the hunk of meat in my hand. ¬†Luckily for me, I have an awesome trainer. ¬†She talked about what “goods” to bring to class, and Leroy ate them all up!

*time out* ¬†If there are any of those, “Why do you need food to train your dog? Shouldn’t he be a good boy because he loves you?” type people, I would like to give them a shout out. ¬†My dog (and most others) learns best by receiving food rewards when he is doing something right. ¬† He offers a behavior, and either a. I do nothing or b. I reward it. ¬†Behaviors that are rewarded will happen more often. ¬†Training 101. ¬†Sure, I could give him a nice pat on the head and tell him he is a good boy. ¬†But my dog loves food, so damnit, I’m going to give him food! ¬†It is a very high value reward for him. ¬†Therefore, using food helps keep his attention and interest in training. ¬†Otherwise he would just be eating Fluffy for a full hour. ūüėČ *time in*

Most of these are under the category of “soft and small”, aka perfect for training. ¬†Although we are stocking up with food, dogs should be getting super tiny amounts of these rewards each time they do something good. ¬†(And this should be faded and mixed in with functional/life rewards over time) ¬†Approximately half a pinky finger nail! ¬†No fat puppies here ūüôā ¬†So here is our list of the “good stuff”! ¬†Tested and proven to be exciting, high value, and delicious to Leroy.. and maybe your dog too!

1. Hot Dogs. ¬†First of all, gross. ¬†I’m not a meat person. ¬†So it was quite the effort for me to buy these suckers and feed them to Leroy. ¬†But I did it, and he loved it! ¬†The highest of the high value. ¬†If you have a dog that ignores food when stressed, try the magical hot dog!

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2. “Soft and Small” training rewards. ¬†Most companies make some type of small training treat. ¬†We like to stay on the healthy side of things, so brands like Blue Buffalo or Zeke’s. ¬†Not much junk in them, but still a great treat ūüôā

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3. Food Rolls. ¬†These are a newer thing in the world of dog food. ¬†It can be used as a full meal, as a special dry food topper, and as a training reward. ¬†It’s pretty soft but still packed together. ¬†I used this a lot in Reactive Rover because I could hold a big chunk of it and break of smaller¬†pieces.

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4. Freeze Dried Beef Liver. ¬†Aka, crack for dogs. ¬†This one is a little different because it’s not soft. ¬†However, it breaks apart pretty easily so you can still give tiny treats and the dog will swallow it up nice and fast. ¬†I don’t know what it is, but dogs like this. ¬†Take my word. ¬†Tofu is a huge fan as well. ¬†ūüôā

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Well there it is, my list of the top four best training treats in the whole world. ¬†Or something like that! ¬†Thanks to Stephanie from And Foster Makes Five¬†for the suggestion! Check out some wonderful blogging over there ūüôā

 

If you have any questions about Tofu, becoming a foster parent, or the adoption process- you can email me (Leroy’s mom) at Casey@caseyheyen.com

Sponsor me here!- 5k Race to Rescue 

 

 

Just For Fun

 

 

 

 

At LCPO, we rescue a variety of “Pit Bull” type dogs. ¬†Dogs that would be classified as a “Pit Bull” in the shelter system can range anywhere from 30-100 pounds! ¬†I thought we’d play a little game, just for fun. ¬†How much do Leroy and Tofu weigh?! ¬†Please make your guesses in the comment section and use decimals so we can tell who is the closest. ¬†Ex- 66.2 ¬†I will include a few pictures so you can get a good look. ¬†ūüôā

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Short or tall?

Big or little?!

Big or little?!

Who is bigger?!

Who is bigger?!

Lap sized?

Lap sized?

A tiny little ball?

A tiny little ball?

As wide as a door? ;)

As wide as a door? ūüėČ

Good luck on your guesses. ¬†The winner will receive… well, my LOVE! ¬†Yes. ¬†And I will announce their name. ¬†That sounds great, doesn’t it?! ¬†Ready. ¬†Set. ¬†GUESS!

 

 

If you have any questions about Tofu, becoming a foster parent, or the adoption process- you can email me (Leroy’s mom) at Casey@caseyheyen.com

Sponsor me here- Donate

 

 

 

People Pleaser with Excellent Manners!

Tofu has an amazing quality that I would like to share with everyone! ¬†She is a people-pleaser ūüôā ¬†She seems to adore every person that she meets at an excited and genuine level of “omg uu iz mai bef friend evaaa!” ¬†This is dog-speak for, “Are you my forever family?? I LOVE you.” ¬†My family of course gets to meet all of these dogs and they form opinions on them. ¬†Our brother Robert came by recently to say ¬†“Hi” to the pups. ¬†While Leroy was a bit overrun with excitement, Tofu did a much better job of keeping her ‘four on the floor’. ¬†He said, “She seems pretty cool”. ¬†Which is a very good compliment coming from brother Robert ūüėČ

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Tofu and her new friend, Steven

My brother Steven was hanging out with Tofu tonight and he said, “I would adopt a dog like her”. ¬†Now that is a compliment! ūüôā ¬†We then talked about her inherent manners and what a good, sweet, girl she is. ¬†In taking a chained, throw-away, breeder dog, I was expecting a lot more work when it came to household manners and daily activities. ¬†She has picked everything up super quickly! ¬†(She does fall up the steps sometimes from sheer excitement though lol)

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Tofu has some¬†serious¬†jump¬†in her step, especially when she seems some type interesting prey. ¬†She can probably scale a 5 foot fence and might really excellent at agility training. ¬†So she may let out one big Tigger jump when she’s super excited. ¬†But she almost never puts her paws on anyone, and she will quickly regroup to her happy dancing and wiggling on the floor. ¬†My mom was also very impressed at her good greeting manners. ¬†She is¬†very¬†happy to meet anyone who will pay attention to her, but she shows her love and excitement through tail whippings, butt wigglings, and smiles. ūüôā

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Tofu was also happy to practice her Sits for some yummy biscuits! She did very well ‘listening’ to hand signals from a new friend. ¬†All in all, I’ve been very impressed with her home-ready manners and¬†enthusiasm for strangers. ¬†Now all she needs is the home! ‚̧

"Sit" hand signal

“Sit” hand signal

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If you have any questions about Tofu, becoming a foster parent, or the adoption process- you can email me (Leroy’s mom) at Casey@caseyheyen.com

Happy Tears and New Beginnings

Jora ¬†was a very special foster dog. ¬†The last time I saw her I was sad weepy nostalgic pathetic emotional a complete wreck. ¬†I had to admit to myself, I adore this dog. ¬†She wiggled into my home despite my “no puppies allowed” rule. ¬†And truly, she grew up with me. ¬†Jora had more meet and greets than any other dog, yet none ever panned out into the right fit for her. She was looked over since she was a scrappy pup of¬†only four months old. ¬†After a¬†handful¬†of meet and greets, a two hour adoption, and a trial adoptive home that decided not to keep her; I was stunned time and time again that these people did not see what I saw. ¬†I was heartbroken that she didn’t have ‘her people’- the ones that would love her as much as I do, but more. ¬†I knew she would find them, but I was becoming impatient, confused, torn, and sad for her. ¬†I wanted to yell to the world, “This dog is amazing and you’re missing out! ¬†It’s your LOSS!” ¬†But I kept it in and tried to be patient. ¬†The hardest part, was loving her so much. ¬†I wanted her to feel the difference between foster love, and¬†forever love. ¬†I wanted someone to look into her eyes and say,¬†“You will be with me for the rest of your days. ¬†Your troubles are now my troubles. ¬†I will be here for you, and never leave you. ¬†I promise- I will never leave you. ¬†You are not ‘homeless’ anymore. ¬†You are mine. ¬†And I am yours.”¬† ¬†And sometimes, I wanted to be the one to say that to her.

This is the lifelong struggle of a foster mom.  I battle with this every time I allow a dog to feel love, often times their first love, but I call it temporary.  Sometimes it hurts more than others.  And with Jora, I just felt that she was so deserving and ready.  I wanted her to be home.

My dad was quite smitten by her as well. ¬†To¬†paraphrase¬†very accurately quote him, “Jora, we’re not allowing any more living things in this house. ¬†None! ¬†But if we were, I would let you stay.” ¬†Leroy and Jora had an amazing bond as well. ¬†She followed him around, played, snuggled, learned, and loved. ¬†And for as amazingly¬†tolerant¬†as Leroy was with all of her puppy antics and¬†instance¬†on playing for 10 hours every day, he really loved her right back.

We lub when mom stays home from skool to write da tesis papers.

cuddles

But as it always happens with patience and a deserving dog, we got an email for Jora. ¬†And this one was the one. ‚̧ ¬†Yes, I am happy to announce that Jora has finally found her forever home. ¬†One of the most special dogs that I’ve ever known is officially adopted. ¬†And on top of that, I think that she finally found the most perfect home that will love and appreciate her for all she has to offer. ¬†When you have an adoption where everything just clicks, it’s as if the two souls were just waiting to find each other until the right moment in time.

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First family photo ūüôā

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Jora, now Bella ‚̧

Congratulations Jora, you finally got your turn. I will love you forever my little Peanut ‚ô•

Vet Appointment! – The Good

Well yesterday I shared some potentially not so good news about Tofu’s eye. ¬†However, today I want to share how great she was at her vet appointment! ¬†Everyone just loved her to¬†pieces. ¬†She had a special bond with the vet tech who also happens to have a deaf and vision¬†impaired¬†dog. ¬†What a coincidence! ¬†She wowed the vet with kisses and cuddles, and tail wags. ¬†LOTS of tail wags. ūüôā ¬†Tofu was a very well behaved angel and I was a proud foster mamma.

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Tofu has a great smile ūüôā

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Oh and of course, we were sporting LCPO’s “Adopt Me” vest so that everyone knew she was looking for a home! ¬†Her forever family hasn’t found her yet, but they’re out there ‚̧

If you have any questions about Tofu, Jora, becoming a foster parent, or the adoption process- you can email me (Leroy’s mom) at Casey@caseyheyen.com

Sponsor me here: All donations are tax deducible and benefit the rescue dogs of LCPO