Thursday, March 23, 2017

Happy National Puppy Day!

Facebook told me that today is #NationalPuppyDay!  While Delilah wasn't a baby puppy when I adopted her, she was 5-6 months old and still had some puppy-like behaviors (in fact, she still does at 2 years old).  In this video, she discovers cat toys for the first time.


Baby Delilah before I adopted her.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Winter Storm Stella

Delilah and I hope everyone on the east coast is staying safe and warm!

Yesterday morning I walked some shelter dogs before the roads got bad.  Just as I was wrapping up my boyfriend texted me.  He needed a ride home because they were getting out from work early.

I walked Trudy again- she is such a good girl, I wonder why no one's adopted her yet!

I also met a handsome lab named Marley.  

Delilah was NOT a fan of the snow.  She screamed at it from inside the house, but would not go outside.  Right now she's refusing to poop.  To be fair, it's higher than she is when she stands on two legs though, I can't really blame her.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Walking Shelter Dogs: Week 1

Last week I finally was able to start walking dogs for my local shelter!  I met some very sweet pups looking for homes.  They have such a variety of different personalities and breeds/mixes there, I love meeting all of the different dogs.  My goal is to volunteer 100 hours this year.  So far I'm at 13 hours.  Most of those hours have been cleaning rather than dog walking.

This is Crockett.  This handsome goofball basically looks like a giant Dachshund.

This is August.  She's very cuddly and snuggles up against me whenever I kneel down.

This is Gus.  He's a very high energy, intelligent dog.  He'd love agility, jogging, hiking.

This is Chloe.  She's a very sweet, playful girl and is getting bored in the shelter.

Delilah and I haven't really had anything too exciting going on.  It's starting to get cold again so we haven't done much outside.  We do start our Reactive Rover class next week though!

Friday, February 24, 2017

It's Been Warm Out!

After a long few months indoors, yesterday it was finally warm enough to take the tiny terrier outside!  Hailing from Tennessee and being only 6 lbs with a short coat, Delilah can't stand temperatures below 50F.  Yesterday got up to 63F!  She still hated it though, the ground was all wet from the melting snow and she hates getting her paws wet.  

Mom, it's wettttt.

Soon it will be spring though, and warm all of the time!  And we can start adventuring again.  We're moving at the end of March to my childhood house.  It's right across the road from some really nice hiking trails so that will be fun to hike and swim every day!

I also signed Delilah up for the Reactive Rover class in March.  It's going to be an interesting class, I'm looking forward to learning some new things and practicing with her in a class environment.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Update: Luxating Patellas and Behavior Modification

Welp, it looks like Delilah is going to need surgery for her knees.  We went to the vet recently and she was officially diagnosed with grade 3 bilateral luxating patellas.  We talked about treatment and management options and it was recommended that she has surgery in the next 6 months since she is young, fit, and it hasn't become inflamed yet.  The estimated cost of surgery for both knees is a little over $3,000!  I'm definitely going to be applying for care credit.

We also talked about increasing her fluoxetine to see if that will help with her Canine Compulsive Disorder.  We've been seeing some progress with Delilah's anxiety and behavior, but not really any improvement with her compulsive behaviors.  She's now on 5 mg of fluoxetine and we're also trying some CBD dog treats (made with hemp oil) as a supplement.  I was particularly interested in seeing if it would help with her anxiety, but CBD's supposed to be helpful for a number of ailments including arthritis and joint pain/inflammation, so I'm hoping it will help manage her knees as well until she gets surgery.

In terms of behavior modification, she is continuing to improve slowly.  My boyfriend's sister stayed overnight yesterday and it was the first time Delilah's experienced a "stranger" staying for so long.  At first she was very reactive and loud but I had her on a lead and did some counter conditioning and impulse control exercises with her and she soon quieted down enough to even relax on her bed in front of the fire place!  She was very interested in his sister and would go up to her, sit next to her, and even try to give her kisses, but then Delilah would remember that she was a "stranger" and get freaked out and run away barking.  She definitely wants to interact, she just gets so anxious.  But overall she did very well, she was very manageable and tried her best to listen to me and calm down.

In the morning we stayed in bed until his sister left.  Delilah would alarm bark if she heard her talking downstairs but easily quieted down after.  This is a huge change from before the medication and behavior consult, when she couldn't quiet down at all, and would just bark and scream until well after the guest had left.  

On a separate note, I just found out a trainer's offering Reactive Rover classes in my area.  I've been talking with him to see if the class would be appropriate for Delilah.  I feel like a class tailored to dogs with special needs like that could be a good step towards taking agility lessons again.  And maybe I'd learn some new techniques and ideas for helping Delilah manage her emotions and impulses.

I put Delilah's bed in front of the fireplace where it would be most comfortable for her and also give her some space from the "stranger."  We started "place" after she calmed down enough to work.  It took about an hour of counter conditioning (dropping treats) to get her to stop reacting and be able to focus enough to work.

Right now she is still nervous and alert but staying in her "place" because I asked her to (and because she's getting a lot of chicken).

After about 20 minutes she finally relaxed and napped by the fire.  This is incredible progress for her.  This is where practicing "place," Karen Overall's protocol for relaxation, and counter conditioning and desensitization to strangers is paying off!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Call to People Who Are Halfway Decent with HTML!

My blog is looking a little rough.  I had made a drop down menu on the previous layout, and ALL I did was change the background picture for the season, and that drop down menu kind of exploded.  I'm not sure what happened, I'm using the same template, literally just changed the picture.  I'm really bad with technology.  But anyways, bloggers reading this, if you feel like you're skilled enough at web design to clean up my blog then I will paint a portrait of your pet in return!  I haven't really posted yet about my animal portraits, but I am an artist and I enjoy painting animals and landscapes.  Here are some examples of my work:

"Windsor" Yellow Lab

"Jayne" Beagle

"Charlie"  Chocolate Lab

"Chloe" Whippet

I usually do dogs, but I can do any animal!  I just painted my sister a portrait of her hedgehog for Christmas.  So even if you don't have a pet but you have a favorite wild, prehistoric, or fictional animal that you want me to paint, I can do that.


- I would like my blog to look neat and somewhat professional at least, so I'm cool with you changing the layout and template.
- I only ask you keep the current picture for the banner, and the content/pages the same.
- In return I will paint one portrait containing one or two pets (an $80 value).  
- I will need at least one good photo to work from.  You can choose the background color if you like, I usually only do solid backgrounds.
- Shipping will be free if it's staying in the US.  However, I just can't afford international shipping so if you live outside of the US, you will have to pay for shipping.
- Portraits typically take 1-2 months to complete.
- Email me at and we can talk!