Camp Yogi: Temporary Closure

This is Yogi taking a forced break from puppy fostering.
It has been nonstop since the beginning of July. GiGi’s litter: Garrett, Gabe, Griffin and Gracie.

Beau

Dude

and Conway.

Before them, Rose, Ty, and Nutmeg,

Anna,

Sara,

Lily,

and Noah.

Fourteen puppies in eight months. No wonder Yogi is exhausted!

He’s such a great sport and expert puppy raiser, entertaining them, teaching them boundaries, watching over them, and generally allowing them to torture him.

It’s that later part that put him in the cone. Too many puppy licks in ears and eyes leading to infections; lowered immune system and allergies causing hot spots. He has more than earned a break. Camp Yogi is temporarily closed for business. So, naturally, as soon as the cone went on, these two showed up.

Adorable little Heeler mix pups that someone dumped in a field near the rescue. Thankfully picked up by a good Samaritan and brought to us. We named them Barley and Hops. It kills me to leave puppies at the rescue. Not that we have not raised hundreds. But I believe puppies need to be in a home where they can get all of the attention, care, and socialization they need to start their young lives off right. And no matter how careful we are and how separate we keep them, there is always the risk of another dog coming in carrying their own unwelcome guest before these little fur balls have developed strong immune systems.

So naturally, one of these two became unwell. When I arrived last weekend, Barley was clearly not feeling good. His temperature had skyrocketed, he wasn’t eating, and he didn’t want to get up. Emergency measures were kicked in. The fever broke quickly, and by the next day, he was eating. But his legs were not working.

While my mind races right to dark, scary places, our leader stays firmly in the light of hope and drags me along with her. His brother showed no symptoms. She said to let the medicine and rest do its thing. They remained separated, but together, and isolated from all others with only the two of us watching over them. Thirty-six hours later, he got up long enough to poo. The next day, he stood to eat. And by the time Doc set eyes on him again, he greeted her standing with tail wagging. From there, he progressed rapidly. A week later, he is running and jumping…and now…my puppy worlds have collided.

While they wait for their own adoption day, Barley and Hops are hanging out with my former foster, Conway – now named Chance.

I’m hoping we can get Yogi over his hot spots as quickly, because everyone loves a happy ending.

Follow-Up Friday: Journey Now Charli

My Yogi had a play date recently with our former foster and his protégé, Journey. Her name is now Charli – and it suits her, but I have a hard time re-training myself. She is forever Journey to me.

She has grown, but not too much.
She is loved (that can never be too much).
But in one way, she has returned to her old self.

It seems that our Journey Charli has fallen back into her old habits: greeting her friends with tugs and pinches and take-downs.

We spent a good amount of time working that out of her, and I thought that her much larger visiting canine cousin would keep her in line.

But it seems that even he has given up delivering the kind of correction that Charli needs.

I suggested that she come back to class with her mom, and I hope she does. Her mom is completely smitten with Charli – I’m so glad for that. But her last dog was extremely reactive and she desperately wants to have a dog that can play with other pups. I could tell that she was a little embarrassed by Charli’s behavior. Not that Yogi is any angel. Set loose in the house, he immediately jumped up and helped himself to the human treats on the counter! Way to humiliate your mom, boy!

In school, Charli and her mom would be surrounded by people who know all about her play style and how to administer a time out when needed. Mom would get reassurance, as well. Everyone in class has been through something that made them shrink at some point.

What Charli needs is practice with dogs that are happy to issue corrections in a safe environment – and consistency until a more socially-acceptable play style truly becomes second nature to her.


I hope to see them in school. Charli has shown us that she has it in her.

“Believing takes practice.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle