Make Sure You Are Sitting For This One!

Our Companions is well known for creating a better environment for shelter animals by trying innovative ways to house them so that they are less stressed and improving/learning as they await their forever home. Our adoption process has followed in these footsteps as well by slowly integrating our shy/scared dogs into their new homes. Our amazing adopters start this unique process with the dog by bringing them home for that afternoon to get them comfortable. This process graduates to overnight trips and weekend excursions. This helps these dogs settle into their new life at an appropriate pace and helps the adopters to see how their new family member will react to a new lifestyle (videogames, hair dryers, neighbors, etc). We’ve been working with some amazing adopters over the past few months who have put in a ton of effort and patience to win over Lucy – and it worked! Lucy, who has been at the Sanctuary for 4.5 years, will be going home next week!! Sit back and enjoy one of their recent sleepover recaps and know that Lucy is one lucky pup!

Lucy was a pro in her crate last night and today. After her walk Wednesday afternoon, I put Lucy in her crate and walked to the mail box and back (very slowly) that was a 20 min trial run. She acted like nothing and I did what Marie said, just let her out didn’t make a hullabaloo about letting her out. She was absolutely fine.

The moment we have all been waiting for arrived last night when Dan got home. Apparently, Lucy had never seen Dan in his suit and tie before. When he got home it was about 6:30/6:45. Lucy and I were in the room upstairs reading so everything was quiet. When she heard the front door open and she heard footsteps coming into the house (she couldn’t see who it was from that angle in her spot on the couch), Lucy barked and growled at the closed bedroom door..

When Dan came into the room she wasn’t sure about his suit. So he sat on the couch and ignored her barking. But he threw some of her special bakery treats (pumpkin, peanut butter, & egg from a Dog bakery in Wallingford) and she settled down and ate the ones farthest from him and then made her way towards him and eventually ate them out of his hand. She would not, however, sit next to him on the couch until he changed.

At around 8PM, we went to dinner at the wooden spoon and Lucy stayed in her crate for about an hour alone. Again, no incidents, acted totally normal when we got back. Hopped right into her spot when we let her out.

Then we watched some SVU as a family

Lucy watching SVU

and went to bed. Lucy slept between us but cuddled with Dan mostly. I was supper jealous, but I’ll take it. 🙂

Lucy Sleeping

Since October is Pitbull Awareness month, Lucy took a photo with her Abigail the Pitbull flower

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Her walk with Dan this morning went off without a hitch. She cons him into taking her deep in the woods so she can do her business. He enjoys every second of her affection and their adventures alone. I try to give them space to bond and she is so good about leaving the house without me now! Her meals went off seamlessly.

I let her out again before I went to class at around 11:30AM. And she was in her crate until about 2:45PM. Then she got another walk (30 mins) and I dropped her off at the sanctuary around 3:30.

I just had to console Dan that she wasn’t going to be here when he got home. The house feels so empty without her now. We can’t wait to put her on our Christmas card this year as she already feels like a part of the family!

Lucy, in her very own Christmas card! No need to share the spotlight this year! We are so happy for her!

Mini-dog Mayhem!

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We don’t often get many little dogs staying with us here the sanctuary.  So, it has been quite the experience having three pint sized pooches here at once!  But don’t let their miniature size fool you.  They pack just as much trouble as the biggest lab or pit bull!  So let’s meet our tiny terrors.

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Cody is a 5 year old chihuahua mix who has been with us for a few months.  He likes to play ball and spend time around other dogs.  However, there may be a chance that he thinks he is a cat, since he most certainly does not like people paying him too much attention and cannot deal with changes to his routine.

 

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Lulu is Cody’s 10 year old partner in crime.  If Cody might think he’s a cat, then Lulu surely thinks she’s a lion.  While she’s always ready for some quiet snuggling from humans, if you get her around other dogs, be ready to hear her roar!

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And rounding out our pack of pint sized pooches is Mitch.  Whether it’s jumping up on you, tugging on the leash or your sleeve, trying to untie your shoes, or stealing any towel in sight, it’s all part of a day’s fun for him.  Just watch your fingers when it’s time to put his harness on.

Now, lest you think we’re ones to let these cuties get away with whatever they want, all three have been attending Canine College classes with our dedicated (and brave) volunteers, and are showing great improvement.  In no time, we’ll have these diminutive delinquents on the straight and narrow and behaving as the happy doggy citizens we know they can be.

It’s all part of the work we do here at the Our Companions Animal Rescue Sanctuary.

Lab Work

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As Our Companions decides which dogs to bring in to our sanctuary, the question always arises of how much and what kind of work will be necessary to get the dog to the point of being adoptable.  Sometimes it’s medical work, sometimes it’s behavioral work, and sometimes it’s both.  Sometimes we know going in that a dog will need lots of work, and sometimes the dog won’t need much work at all.  Bentley was a dog we knew would be challenging, but he was still full of surprises.

 

Bentley was a young lab mix with an cruciate ligament tear who, needed some training and some TLC.   We handle these kinds of things all the time.  But as he spent some time hear, we realized that things were worse than we knew.  In addition to the cruciate ligament tear, he had luxating patellas in both knees, and some wear on his hips and back as a result of those bad knees.  He also had a high level of frustration, as a puppy in too much pain to play, and, once he became comfortable with people, was prone to lots of nipping and mouthiness, and other inappropriate interactions.  He was going to be much more work than we originally thought.

But the sanctuary staff and volunteers were up to the task!  We put in place strict handling instructions that gave him the consistency and control to learn a better way interact with people.  We enrolled him in Canine College classes that worked his mind and gave him the skills and confidence to be the good dog he wanted to be.  We set up for a canine massage therapist to work with him on a weekly basis and brought him to canine physical rehabilitation.  And when all that didn’t quite do the trick, we made arrangements for a much needed knee surgery to get him moving better.  The whole team came together, and Bentley blossomed into a sweet, happy boy.

 

 

And, as always, fate smiled on our hard work.  His rehab therapist fell in love with the good boy under all the bad behavior, and decided his home should be with her.  He is now recovering with the best of care, under the watchful eye of his new mom and two canine “sisters.”  Bentley was more work than anyone imagined, but well worth the effort.

More From The Expansion Construction

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A big view of the new buildings.

The new dog cottages are looking good!

We’ve got walls!

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A first look at the updated dog room doorway design.

Front and back views of the new cat cottage.

Drywall going up in in the cat cottage!

Thank you all so much for your help and support of this project!  We couldn’t be more excited!

Say “AH-CHOO!!”

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Brody Riding HOME!

 

Brody is home and settling in with his new family, a family that includes most dogs’ coveted dream, a boy to call his own! Before going any further and gushing about how much he is loved and spoiled let’s take a stroll down Memory Brody lane. Brody, a purebred southern mutt, seems to be an adorable mix of Chow, hound, etc. You name it, he’s got it! Brody came to live at the Sanctuary in June of 2016 from a home that found they were unable to keep him. Being a dog that Our Companions originally helped place in 2010 we honored our commitment to take him back but thankfully this time we had a Sanctuary to support him! It’s always a hard transition for any dog that walks through our doors, especially one that knew the comfort of a real home, but we did what we do best and dedicated lots of time, love and delicious food to this sweet boy and allowed him to shine! During his year at the Sanctuary his gentle demeanor and lovable personality won him lots of friends but it was his signature “AH-CHOO” trick that made both visitors and volunteers alike, giggle uncontrollably! Brody was a pro at showing of his trick and happily accepted its reward of a cookie or chin scratch! While being such an easy going boy he did have some quirks that scared him, loud sudden noises such as one would hear from an oversized/rattling truck caused him distress but we were able to comfort him and work with him to gain further confidence in himself and his handlers. While Brody thrived at the Sanctuary it was obvious that he needed more. As with most dogs, the Sanctuary is meant as a respite, a temporary spot to stay until something better comes along and we are so happy to share with you that it was Brody’s time to move on to bigger and better! He currently lives with a boy that is beyond excited to have a new family member, in a house that welcomes him with open arms and a back yard to chase all the squirrels that his heart desires! It seems hard to think of a better place for Brody to live! We wish him heaps and mounds of well wishes, snuggles and all the treats that one could ever eat!

Brody, congrats on finding your family!

Rosie’s Recovery

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You would think that anyone who saw this face would fall instantly in love with Rosie, but there was a time when she was treated with very little love.

Rosie came to us from the Manchester Animal Control.  She had been brought to Bolton Vet neglected and malnourished.  She weighed only 17 pounds and was unresponsive.  They worked hard to keep her alive, though it was not always assured that they would succeed.  But she made it through and, once she was stable, needed a place to complete her recovery.  So, she came to the Our Companions Sanctuary, where we could slowly help her build back her weight and her strength, and assess any behavioral problems her ordeal may have caused.

 

 

It’s a testament to a dog’s resilience and capacity for love, however, that Rosie’s emotional scars were few.  She was a resource guarder, and couldn’t live with another dog or cat, but with people, she was nothing but affectionate.  She loved attention, love to hug and kiss, and made quick friends with everyone.  And she surprised us all by being one of the few dogs we’ve had here who was happy and well mannered with all ages of children.

As Rosie’s body recovered and grew up to an appropriate 45 pounds, we nurtured her mind and spirit as well.  She went to training classes and out on field trips to local state parks.  And she worked with at-risk youth as part of our Buddy Project.  She became a volunteer favorite, at least when she wasn’t untying your shoelaces or trying to sneak a treat from you.

And, as often happens here, it was just a matter of time before the perfect family for Rosie walked through our doors.  They had no other pets, which worked great for Rosie.  However, they did have two toddlers, which would have usually meant that we would not have a dog for them.  But Rosie’s love of little kids made her a perfect match for them.

Rosie now lives in a loving home with a family who will make sure she never knows the kind of hardship she previously experienced again.  And in return, she’ll give them no end of fun, laughter, and adorable, soft-eyed head tilts.

Congratulations, Rosie!

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It’s all coming together now!

Here’s our latest update on the construction here at the Sanctuary.  The new buildings are really coming together now!

 

We’ll start with an updated wide view of the Sanctuary:070417a

Check out this gorgeous cat building.  The catios are really taking shape!  The doors have all been installed and include kitty doors for access to the outside playscapes.  Inside, you can really start to see how the place will be set up.  Most of the infrastructure is in place and we’ll have walls up in no time.

And, of course, there’s also the two new dog cottages.  They are also moving right along.  We can already see some pups snuggling on couches and barking for their dinners.

We’re looking forward to sending more updates of this exciting project soon!

Thank you for your support!

The Big Build!

It’s time to check in once again on the progress of our next phase of construction, this time with your adorable canine guide, Lucy!

 

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Lucy is keeping a close eye on the progress.
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The new cat cottage is taking shape!
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Just imagine a room full of happy kitties.
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Look at all those catios!
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Dog Cottage #6 is nearing completion.
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Rear view of Dog Cottage #6.
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Hard at work on Dog Cottage #5!
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Taking a “big picture” view!

Summertime is feline fine…

…especially for cat sanctuary resident Archer.

Archer 041817d.JPG    Incredibly handsome he’s a confident, curious and social guy with an easygoing personality-  making him an ideal candidate for a leisurely harness stroll on a beautiful sunny day.

Calling it a stroll may have been just a little bit of a reach- but a cat sure knows how to relax and enjoy each moment of his day.

Archer 041817g.JPG and honestly we can’t let the dogs have all the fun around here!

Closing in on summer also means that the flowers    .  . . . . .

and feral colonies are in full bloom.

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And we’ve picked some irresistibly cute kittens to brighten up the inside of our cat cottage:

First there’s our adorable little boy band: JC, Joey, Chris, Lance and Justin – that can barely take time out from playing for some photos.

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And to round out our rough and tumble boys -we have our little angels:  Jaclyn, Farrah and Kate.  Did someone say photo shoot?

Of course when they’re not posing -they can be a rough as those little boys!

And not always as graceful as our little angels should be:

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Unless of course they are sleeping – then they are always little angels.

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wait -did someone say photo shoot again?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of looks back at some of our previous guests.

-an update on a kitten rescued by our own OC staff that was found with a badly injured leg that  later had to be amputated.Lumi 121216a

Little Lumi was so nervous when he first arrived.

But soon he grew comfortable, confident and made quite a few friends

still he just  wished for a home of his own:

His prayers were quickly answered when a family that adopted Emery from the Sanctuary came looking for a feline friend to keep him company.emery 110216

Visual problems for Emery made it a little difficult for him to “fit in” and make friends with other cats at the Sanctuary.

But Lumi was happy to have Emery as his new Besty and the two became fast, inseparable friends.  WARNING – this video may be too graphic for some!

 

**A quick footnote on Lumi & Emery – mom & dad shared their story on the blog with them and they wanted to send along a thank you to us-   for us, a happy kitty is the best thank you ever!**

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Another update on Maise -a pregnant kitty that sadly lost her litter of kittens in utero but still kept her great personality-

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A sweet confident kitty that was happy to teach her new canine sibling a little respect in her new  home.

– Maise wants the bigger more comfortable bed

– then that’s what Maise gets! Maisie

Cats and Dogs

Always good to get it straight who’s boss right from the beginning.

 

Until next time–justin 060317d

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Justin 060317e

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Happy dreams….