So: temporary houseguest

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Bruce getting ready to transport Lacey to the Mortroski Midcentury

Since yesterday there’s been a four-legged houseguest at the Mortroski Midcentury. Her name is Lacey and she’s around 2 years old. One of the families that Bruce knew through his Duck Team 6 outreach work  fell on hard times and was forced to move to a different place. Unfortunately, the place didn’t allow dogs and the family had to make a tough decision to leave Lacey behind and have Duck Team 6 find her a new home. 

So Bruce picked Lacey up last night after work. She was a little confused about the whole thing, but went willingly.

First, they went to the vet for vaccinations and a check up:

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Lacey is pretty laid back and not too worried about being at the vet and getting her shots. Guinness, Godiva, and George are like this at the vet too.

Then, when they got  to the Mortroski Midcentury, the Gs were a little overly enthusiastic and after getting poked and prodded at the vet, Lacey wanted the peace and quiet of a private crate in our laundry room. She really liked Bruce’s truck although she doesn’t have a drivers’ license.

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Lacey may look a little sad, but she’s tired from all the excitement

We humans got lots of doggie kisses and tail wags last night. She got a good night’s sleep in the borrowed crate, but was still very subdued (but hungry) this morning.

The Gs’ pal Tracy reported that Lacey was very sweet at lunch time. At that point, she was still being sequestered from the Gs.

But tonight, she greeted Bruce at the back door along with Godiva, Guinness, and George. It appears that she’s a crate escape artist and maybe spent the afternoon acquainting herself with her new friends. Or maybe the Gs felt she needed to be freed. (NOTE: Gidget is currently being crated for her own safety since she’s a naughty chewer. We are confident that she will outgrow the naughtiness soon.)

Everyone enjoyed dinner time together, except for our sensitive Godiva, who was too busy being a good hostess to eat her dinner:

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Lacey’s gotten 3 good meals and she really likes the Gs’ food.

And before everyone asks if we’re changing her name to Gracie, we’re not. We’re not upgrading to 5G because she’s an awesome dog and she’ll be perfectly adoptable. She’s sweet and gets along well with lots of dog personalities which makes her super adoptable. She’s going to be a nice addition to another family and a good friend to any pets they have. She’s about 55 lbs., 10 lbs smaller than Godiva and she’s not skinny. Bruce says she’s good on the leash since they went on a short walk this evening. She’s not food aggressive nor bothered by squirrels. And she’s got a spotted tongue like Godiva.

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what a difference 24 hours makes!

After dinner tonight, Lacey continued to make herself at home. While she spent a lot of her time outside, she’s far too comfortable inside to have never been a house dog. The Gs are all enjoying her company although everyone has gotten a little too fresh with the bum-smelling. There have been a few growls, but everyone has kept their teeth to themselves.

Since everyone is getting along and Lacey is getting well-rested, she’ll be having a bath tomorrow morning. If it’s like everything else, she’s going to be easy going and enjoy the whole process from the warm water to the fluffy towels. She’s already gone into the bathroom and checked out the shower where the bath will take place. No sweat.

Knowing the Gs, they’ll all come into the bathroom and hang out while she’s getting her bath. Gidget could already use another bath, although she had one on Sunday (white dog’s curse).

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everyone’s getting very comfortable

As an emergency foster family, we simply are a safe place for Lacey to crash on her way to another rescue group that can find her a good home. In this case, it’s Take Me Home Pet Rescue. She’s going to be with us for the next few days. But I think she might miss Bruce when she leaves:

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Lacey likes to snuggle

Lacey hopped up on her own to enjoy the comforts of the sofa with the rest of the Gs. I hope her new family is ok with dogs on the furniture.

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So: security

George: the newest member of the 3G Network

George enjoys tennis balls

At the Mortroski Midcentury, it’s hard to ever be in a bad mood. Especially when you return home from work and are greeted by three enthusiastically wagging tails. Even if you’ve just gone out for a minute or two to drop the recycling off in the bins at the end of the driveway, you’ll still get the same greeting.

If you look carefully while being bombarded by tails, snouts and head butts, you’ll see that one of these things is not like the others. Usually, George, the youngest and newest member of the 3G Network has at least one thing in his mouth. Apparently this is normal behavior for a young laborador retriever/golden retriever.

Since George is a rescue, we have no idea how old he is. When he came to us in late summer 2012, we were told he was about 18 months old. After living with him for a few weeks, we realized he was probably younger. He had many puppy behaviors including needing to go outside in the middle of the night. He grew a bit too and is now 85 pounds. Maybe he’s 18 months now.

Small children have their blankie or a favorite stuffed animal to take with them wherever they go; George isn’t particular, he just has to have something. Anything. In an effort to keep all of the indoor toys from populating the backyard, we’re trying to convince George to drop his toy before going outside. But he’ll immediately look for something to hold in his mouth.

George enjoys stuffed toys

George enjoys stuffed toys too

Security is what George likes. The day we met George, he was carrying a stuffed toy that his foster family gave him. If a toy isn’t in his mouth, it will be under his chin when he’s napping. But before you think he is obsessed with a specific object, he isn’t. He and Godiva often destroy the latest object of his affections through their enthusiastic games of tug of war (despite being smaller, Godiva usually wins). Seams rip. Fluff gets scattered. George will carry the “skin” of the toy around for a while, usually with another toy or ball in his mouth.

More so than the other two, George is happy-go-lucky. Nothing phases him. If Godiva or Guinness get to ride in the truck to pick up dry cleaning or pick up paint at Lowes, George doesn’t pine at the back door like Guinness or pace like Godiva. He holds a toy or two in his mouth and all is right in his world. If he gets caught doing something naughty like digging in the backyard, he stops what he’s doing and grabs a toy. Godiva sulks, tail between her legs.

Not George. He’s got what he needs to make everything ok.

So: why rescue?

The 3G Network: Godiva, Guinness & George

The 3G Network: Godiva, Guinness & George

There are many ways to add a pet to your family. Although our first dog, a bulldog named Daisy, was purchased from a breeder, once we learned how many healthy animals are euthanized each year, we decided to rescue our next dog.

Although we loved Daisy’s sloth and chilled out personality, we wanted a much more active dog at that point in our lives. After a bunch of research, we decided that a labrador retriever would give us the combination of a sweet personality and activity—and all the ball playing that we were used to with Daisy.

Puppy Godiva

Puppy Godiva

Some people think that rescuing a dog means only an adult dog, but unfortunately, there are many people who do not spay or neuter their pets and plenty of puppies end up in city/county shelters. Some never find a home and end up an unfortunate statistic.

Godiva was one of the lucky ones. We were working with a rescue group in East Texas to locate a chocolate lab that needed a home and were asked if we’d consider a pup. She and her litter were dumped at a shelter. When the rescue group showed up to save a few animals, they wanted to give her a chance. So one weekend we drove out to East Texas and had a look at the mangy brown pup. We would have loved to take her home right away, but she needed to have shots, get dewormed, and get fully checked out by a vet since she may never have had any vet care. The following Saturday, we drove back out to East Texas and picked her up at a PetSmart rescue event that the rescue group was putting on.

We decided to call her Godiva, a chocolately, yet free-spirited name that seemed to suit her personality. We knew she was probably born in July, given her age, so we picked Bastille Day (July 14) as her birthday.

Godiva the puppy was everything we hoped she’d be. Curious, fun loving, ball-playing and best of all, a lover of all things water. Our neighbors’ lab Buzz Lightyear (named by the kids in the family) taught Godiva the finer points of lab-style swimming in our backyard pool.

But as Godiva grew, went through puppy school, and continued doing her training to learn how to walk well on the leash and come when called, we noticed that her sleek brown coat was changing. She was starting to sprout a mohawk of wavy fur on her spine. Friends and acquaintances told us she was probably not a lab, but a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. She would get a lot bigger.

But the funny thing is she didn’t. At 64 pounds, she’s the smallest of our three—but the leader of the pack. She is sweet and loving and has the most serious “don’t come near our house” bark. Despite being more than 10 pounds lighter than George (the youngest of the three), she is the frequent winner of their tugging games, wrestling and chase. Ducks fear her. Children gravitate towards her because she’s small which is funny to us since Guinness is the most gentle and loves children the most.

When Guinness showed up, she was thrilled to have a new pal to hang out with—and he did an excellent job assisting with her training. When George came along, Godiva paid Guinness’ training forward and helped George learn sit and down in short order.

Godiva is extremely sensitive—don’t say the word “no” or remark “bad girl” unless you want to see her pout, head down, tail between her legs. But show her a squeaky toy or find her a tennis ball in the bushes outside the tennis court in the park, her tail won’t quit. She is my gardening helper and loves to hang out with me whenever I’m puttering around the urban farm, lying in the sun at the foot of one of the raised beds.

She’s not a Chesie, by the way. At a friend’s suggestion, we did a DNA test to figure out her background. Godiva is: lab (mostly), bull terrier, chow and English Setter!

Some people think that rescued dogs know they’ve been rescued. I’m not sure about that, but what I do know is we are lucky to have Godiva in our lives. She makes everyone around her feel like the most important person in the world.

Full disclosure: we have a lot of friends in the rescue world, Bruce has undergone training to help save animals from hoarder/puppy mill situations, and all three of our dogs are rescues.