Week With Joanie in Review

Joanie has settled a LOT in the short week we’ve had her, and now it’s like she fits right in. It didn’t start off so easy – in fact it was kind of rocky, but we’ve both adjusted accordingly and have found a really great place. Joanie now just hangs out at home with my Dad all day while he works and she sleeps. When I get home from work we play and go for a nice long walk, then have a relaxing evening on the couch.  She’s showing her true self: the perfect house dog!

We’ve crammed a lot of fun into this week. After learning that exercise was the key to success, Joanie and I enjoyed many long walks together – both in the early mornings and in the evenings.  Yesterday morning we ventured out into the woods for the first time. Joanie, as you can imagine, loved all the sniffs – although she wasn’t too pleased about the extra obstacles.

When we go out at night I am always sure to deck her out in her safety vest, especially since she is a dark colored dog. Night time walks are always our most relaxing and enjoyable because there is no pressure to get home in time for work. . . again, lots of opportunities for sniff breaks!

Joanie totally won over my parents who are thrilled to have such a sweet dog in the house again. Bax and Otis were cordial and friendly, but it hasn’t really been since Zabora that we had a dog who ran to greet them at the door with an overly-wiggly butt. Joanie’s got an awesome tail wag, which she promptly turns around and sticks in your face for a good scratch. Looks pretty much like this:

Joanie never ceases to stop making us smile. Especially when she gets her bursts of energy and wants to play. She will barge into our liriope bushes and pounce around like she is deathing a bunch of jumping beans. Cutest. Thing. Ever.  She also enjoys bouncing around the living room while playing with her favorite monkey toy.  Today, the monkey finally met his demise. . .

Last but not least, Joanie continually surprises us with her uncanny ability to resemble a pig. Not only does she look like one, she sounds almost identical to one.  Here is a video of some serious piggy snorting. Listen closely: pig or Joanie?

I know I keep gushing about this dog, but I just can’t help it. She’s so happy-go-lucky and up for anything. We get to enjoy the weekend together, then she is back to her long term foster.  I don’t want to think about her leaving just yet, so you better believe we’ll find some serious trouble fun to get into this weekend!

If you’re interested in learning more about adopting Joanie, email me at peacelovefoster@gmail.com.


Find it!

After many months of medical procedures and recovery, Joanie is getting her spunk back as she continues to feel better every day.  While walks are great to tire her out, she can only handle so much physical activity – so she needs another outlet for her energy.  From the three days I’ve had her, I’ve found that Joanie really benefits from using her nose to exercise her brain and wear her out (like all dogs!).

The easiest and most fun way for us to do some informal nose work is playing “Find it!” in the backyard. Using string cheese, I throw little pieces all over the yard and send her sniffing after them. I try to put them in a pattern so that she can find her way to the next one (she’s got a good sniffer, but it’s not that good if the treat is too far away). Because she has to root through the grass a bit, it’s not a super easy find and usually takes some effort – which is great since I want her to work those brain muscles!

We even tried a few times where I was up on the deck and she was down in the yard. The string cheese is bright white so she can see sort of where I throw it, and the rest is up to her nose.  This also helps to get her down the stairs to the yard without me taking her down there. She’s not really needy, but she doesn’t particularly care to venture down on her own – which is sort of inconvenient when you’re a lazy FosterMom!

“Find it!” is a great game. Ten or fifteen minutes of this is equally as tiring as probably a thirty minute walk. The thing about physical exercise versus mental is that when we’re done with a walk, Joanie’s brain is still ready to go. She still wants to sniff and investigate everything. But after a walk and some nose work, she’s out for the count.

It’s been fun learning what helps Joanie relax around us and what she needs to keep her happy. Watching a dog settle down right before your eyes is really rewarding, especially when you’re not sure they’re going to get there initially (more about that later).  Joanie is just another perfect example of how enrichment can be helpful for any dog!