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Haven't Been On For Awhile- Update On All The Pets!

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Jennifer D

Teenage Guinea Pig
Nov 21, 2014
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Alberta, Canada
Hi everyone! I haven't been on here very often lately. After the losses of Oreo and Gigantica I just have two piggies left. Spike and Vixen are now living it up together on care fresh bedding. They seem very happy with each other :)
Our new dog Jimmy the cocker spaniel is kind of starting to settle in. It's been two weeks tomorrow that we've had him. We have run into problems, however. He was with his foster mom for two months before we got him and before he was surrendered to the rescue, he had lived with his owner for 12 years. So I was obviously expecting him to be unsettled. Unsettled lasted a day lol. He's absolutely in love with me for some reason Haha. I'm really upset with the rescue though. I paid the full adoption fee for him (I was pretty much okay with that as it goes to the rescue anyway) even though they really didn't "rescue" him at all. They basically paid for a quick vet check and that was it. So it was just a real money grab for them. But hey, whatever. When I got him from his foster mom, I had him shaved as he was matted on his belly, armpits and behind his ears. Being matted isn't comfortable for any dog so they've already lost points with me there. Then, I took him to the vet for a general check-up with my own vets (we've had the same vets for 26 years). I was already aware before I adopted him that he had ear problems. The fosters had been treating him with flushing solution and with some goopy stuff you put in for ear infections- my vet told me to continue that so that was good, but I had him put on anti-inflammatory and anti-itching medication and you wouldn't believe the difference! I'm already convinced that he can hear a tiny bit now that his ears aren't swollen anymore. So that's something else that really bothered me as you could clearly see from just looking at his poor ears that they were red and swollen and he was so uncomfortable. Next thing, his nails. I don't know why his nails hadn't been trimmed when he came to me as they literally looked like some half-moon crescents going on. I had the vet take the clippers to them as they had been allowed to grow so long without proper attention that the quick had grown almost as long as the nail and in order to have him walking on the pads of his feet and not on his claws (which must be so painful) we have to cut the quick gradually to get them to a normal length. Which of course hurts. Actually it seems apparent to me after we had his nails trimmed the reason as to why they were so long and leads me to the another problem. He's a snapper. I can understand a dog that will react when hurt because any animal will do so, but it's obvious now that Jimmy lived in the lap of luxury in his previous life. If Jimmy doesn't want to do something- he snaps. If Jimmy finds something that he wants and you try to tell him "no"- he snaps. He nearly got me once when I tried to take a candy wrapper away from him. After working in dog kennels for so long, I absolutely have like a 2% tolerance for biting. One of my previous dogs , Heather, had a resource guarding problem. Which basically meant that for her, if she "found" something that we had accidentally left out on the counter, she would protect it with her life. The first time it happened she put four holes in my arm and had me pinned to the refrigerator. We learned to work around it and made sure to do everything we could to make sure she didn't get anything. If something was given to her, we had no problems. I could put my hand in her bowl when she was eating with no reaction. So Jimmy has the same problem (thankfully, he's not as tall as Heather was so he can't get to a lot of things!) as well as a stubborn streak a mile wide from never being told "no" before. Instead of using our hands to push him away from something, we are now using a spray bottle with water to reprimand him and it seems to be working well. On to the NEXT problem- severe separation anxiety. The first few days we made sure only to leave him alone for a few hours at most. I and to work a 6 hour day one week and I came home to a rather unhappy neighbour. We live in a bi-level house that is 10 feet from each house on either side. She told me that he had pretty much been howling and barking for the 6 hours straight. Okay. You may think I'm complaining here about the dog that I've adopted but most of this I can work with. My problem is with the rescue. If they weren't willing to put in the proper effort to take in this dog and keep him happy until he was adopted, they shouldn't have bothered. I have contacted the foster that he lived with for the 2 months before I got him and asked her if he had shown any of the behaviours that he's showing here. Her reply was, "yes, he did that when he was here too."......... When I looked at his information on his adoption site, nothing at all regarding behaviour was mentioned. Just that he was friendly, cuddly, probably deaf and needed a retirement home. I did a meet and greet with my own dog before we adopted him where I specifically remember asking how he was when left loose in the home. She told me that he had gotten into the garbage once when they had accidentally left it out. NOT ONE TIME did she mention that he had tried to bite them when they tried to get him away from the garbage. We DISCUSSED GARBAGE ITSELF SO HOW COULD YOU NOT MENTION THAT?! And separation anxiety is a big deal too. Very few neighbours are willing to put up with that. I refuse to send a deaf and almost blind dog to the daycare that I work at because that would be plain cruelty. She said that she used a bark collar on him when he started to bark and cry in his crate. He is 12 years old and I feel awful using the collar on him now, so how am I going to control the anxiety when he's even older? Thank-fully he's smart and knows that once the collar's on he has to be quiet but, seriously! The longest anyone is gone from the house every day is 4 hours so at least it's not 8. But these are some serious behavioural issues that the foster was clearly aware of but didn't feel the need to mention. He could have bitten anyone! He could have bitten a child, I could have been fined, and he could have been destroyed. What an irresponsible thing to do. I told her how frustrated I was and she replied saying that the biting was an isolated incident. It was an ISOLATED incident because you didn't provide him with the chance of it happening again! I don't know if he was really housetrained since he goes out for two walks a day. One is an hour long off-leash and the other a 20 minute on-leash walk. Plus he's let out into the backyard very often but he STILL comes in and pees on the floor. It's not a case of bladder control either. He was never walked so he's realizing that going for walks every day is a blast! Anyways, after all of this came to light, I looked for some reviews on the rescue. I would have never thought to check reviews as it's a huge rescue and I worked with some of their dogs in the kennel when they didn't have enough fosters for them. The reviews were poor. I guess that not every rescue is created equal that's for sure. Anyways, we've fallen in love with the little dude- I'm sure that's what the rescue was betting on- and he's in better care with us anyhow. Here are some new photo's of him today on our Saturday walk in the country :)

Aww, at least he is in a better home now, clearly living the dream.. Sorry to hear of the loss of your piggies, I thought id not seen you around lately.
Hey, great to see you back! :) I'm so sorry for your losses of Oreo and Gigantica :(

I guess people are unwilling to admit to any problems in case it puts others off, which is ridiculous - like you say, what if he had gone for a child or you didn't have the experience to handle him? Jimmy has certainly landed on his paws with you :)
Poor lad. He's got you now and your not the type of person to give up on him like some would!
What a shame you've been so let down by the rescue! It's very irresponsible of them and disappointing to say the least. At least Jimmy has ended up with someone capable of looking after him properly and getting him rehabilitated. He looks a real cutie too!
Oh I'm so sorry you lost Oreo and Gigantica.
I would be furious with the rescue and any kind of agression should have been thoroughly disclosed. The separation anxiety is a serious issue at 12 years old. Hes going to be really hard work.

For now, take your neighbours wine and flowers and explain he is a rescue and you are training him.

Regarding the biting, leave a short houseline on him so you can move him off the sofa etc without getting bitten.

Good luck.
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