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Tenth Life: The Dog Room

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
A Visit to the Dog Room

The location of the dogs' room--right on the route from the offices and vet clinic to the cat wings--means they get plenty of attention from anyone who happens by. They may be outnumbered by cats 200 to 1, but since they had nowhere else to go when they were taken in by the shelter, they do have at least one thing in common with their feline companions. My housemate pointed out to me how important this room is, whether or not the dogs care about its appearance, because it is right in the path of any visitors who come to adopt cats.

My work this week was to clean up the dogs' room; and that's hard to do because their outdoor run has a dirt floor, and they're always tracking mud in. Then the mud dries, and the dust blows into all corners of the room; and, of course, from two long-haired dogs comes a lot of fur. Technically, no one at all is assigned to the dog room; so one of the shelter owners usually cleans it--they're very, very busy, though; so it's usually a cursory cleaning. If, as has happened over the last couple of weeks, I'm a surplus volunteer, I'll assign myself to the dogs' room. The dogs may not care that there are muddy tracks on the tile; but visitors' first impressions are (as my housemate pointed out to me) very important.


This is Sadie, whom my housemate, when she met her, described as very "fox-like"--a dog who knows she's attractive! The ripped chair is the fault of the room's other inhabitant; Sadie is by far the quieter of the two.

Sadie gets a drink. These are simply the biggest dog bowls I've ever seen--you'd think the dogs were St. Bernards! There's another water bowl and a food bowl in the background. Hehe... got your tongue, Sadie!

Cooper is a Golden Retriever, about two years old. He follows the nearest human around, always needing to be in contact with someone (you can see that in this picture; I'm holding him in place so that I can get a decent shot). He has a problem with chewing furniture--every piece of furniture in the dog room has at least one bite taken out of it; and recently an armchair, literally skeletonized by this enthusiastic chewer, was carted out and dumped. To keep the furniture from looking too bad, it is covered by blankets.

Here, Cooper and Sadie watch for their owners through their window.
I thought at first that Cooper might have some sort of separation anxiety thing going on; but then my housemate, whose family owns a Golden Retriever, told me that the breed was naturally extremely social and energetic; and that Cooper, despite a steady stream of people through his room, might simply be bored.
post #2 of 12
I'll move this to pet pics in the cats and other animals forum
post #3 of 12
Beautiful creatures. I would imagine that the Golden was abandoned because of the chewing issues? Typical - I wish people would learn about dogs before they get them! Dog = shredded house. At least for a while. Poor thing - he's soooo beautiful. I love Goldens. But then, I say that about all the dogs...
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by rosiemac View Post
I'll move this to pet pics in the cats and other animals forum
Oops! Sorry, didn't realize there were two picture forums.
post #5 of 12
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
I thought at first that Cooper might have some sort of separation anxiety thing going on; but then my housemate, whose family owns a Golden Retriever, told me that the breed was naturally extremely social and energetic; and that Cooper, despite a steady stream of people through his room, might simply be bored.
My goodness, doesn't it break your heart? It does mine. But from what I know about Goldens, it is not enough to have contact with humans, even a large number. They really need one human that they can call their own. We have never had any problems with destructo dogs (knock on wood) aside from the stuffies thaty they are allowed to shred if they wish.

And a word to the wise, if you have large dogs, you will have dog fur everywhere, occasional vomit to clean up and yes, muddy pawprints so there is something to be said for not cleaning up TOO much. (my opinion)
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yeah, a weekly mop-down should be enough. I only come in once a week, so they can keep doing the usual surface cleanings the rest of the week and it should look fine, even to picky visitors. And, anyway, if they're THAT picky, then they'll probably do something really mean like get rid of a cat 'cause it sheds, and we don't want 'em adopting a cat anyhow.

My housemates all have large dogs, so I know how it is I mop the basement floor every once in a while--that's what gets the most pawprinting in our house.
post #7 of 12
What really helps is those straw mats at the entrances. Also we have "dog towels" at the doorways. Both are dogs are trained to "pause" (or maybe it's "paws") when they come inside. They are to sit at the doorway and wait until a human wipes off their paws. Sometimes the paws are so filthy I have to fill a mixing bowl with water and rinse off the paws before I wipe them. This is about the only thing I like about below freezing weather, their paws aren't really dirty.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
A rug... I could try that. We've got one here at home with our dogs, and it does pick up a lot of mud. We still end up with pawprints, but I don't mop that much here--a couple times a month, really.

You know, they have a lot of rugs that are used for the cat rooms, for the cats to sit on. Maybe they have an extra that's rugged (hehe!) enough to take the mud off the dogs' paws when they come in.
post #9 of 12
We have a golden mix (he looks golden but his mom was a setter mix) and his brother (who looks like a black setter/retriever). Yes, goldens are high energy but also the snuggliest dog that we've ever owned.

We have a rug by the door but also keep a towel hanging nearby. We stop them on the way in (on muddy paw days) by simply saying "towel treatment". They sit, extend their paws one by one as we wipe them, and as a reward we give them lots of hugs, praise and scratchies. They are so easy to train!! We also have the rare dogs that don't even chew up their toys (let alone furniture). Probably because we don't let them at the cat toys they leave their dog toys alone (other than to pick them up and squeak them).

It's nearly impossible to retrain a dog in a shelter. If the golden is eating furniture, he is most likely either stressed or bored (or both). Someone would need to spend some regular time with him redirecting his energy. I also believe that goldens should be in a home with another dog to play with. I'm not sure what my golden would do without his brother!
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, he's got another dog to play with; but he is only one of over 400 animals at that shelter, and most volunteers come in once or twice a week and that's not really enough time to bond with a dog. I bet he is bored and restless, even though he has a relatively good life--a decent amount of attention, good food, a few toys, a canine companion... It's no worse off than the cats are, having to share three litter boxes with fifteen roommates!

No matter how nice a shelter is--and Tenth Life is pretty darn good--it still isn't a home. If people would just neuter their pets, then none of them would have to live at shelters.
post #11 of 12
Oh my goodness look at that Cooper face! I just want to reach through the screen and scratch his belly If I didn't think my BF would kill me if we got another dog, I would so be driving to wherever you are to adopt him.

Well that and we already have two very snuggly large dogs who think they are lap dogs. Can't have a third... there's already no room on the bed for me

But what an adorable man he is! Oh please give him a good belly scratch from me when you see him next
post #12 of 12
Sooo sweet, yet soo sad. Put a rug or even some cheap $4 blankets from Wal-mart down and that should help with the tracking problem. I have 11 min pin rescues and I have an enclosed patio with a dog door. I basically put cheap blankets down and then when they get dirty, you can throw them in the wash. And if the blankets get really nasty they are cheap enough just to throw in the trash.

I agree about the behavior do you fix that without a stable home and how do you get a stable home for a neurotic dog....

That's why I have 11 Min Pins...I keep the problem ones and adopt out the ones I can cure Just keep loving them Bless you for caring for them
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