Let's Help Animals's Blog

Newest Member of the Pack – Day 1
July 24, 2009, 4:15 pm
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July 5, 2009

Sasha, my latest addition
Sasha, my latest addition
Kali & Oliver
Kali & Oliver

Today Kali, Oliver & I met Mouse in LA. I think I’m going to change her name to Sasha, since her ‘rescue mom’ picked Mouse & she doesn’t really respond to it. Kali, who usually barks her head off at any & all dogs in sight, barked a few times & then calmed down. They lunged at each other a little & Kali actually rolled on the ground, I think because her leash tripped her. After that all 3 got along fine. Sasha even joined in a little when Kali barked at a few dogs.

The rescue place – Lhasa Happy Homes (LHH) – thinks she’s part Schnauzer. She might be…definitely has the same coloring. She has big giant perky ears with purple bows (to be removed soon!). Her legs are very long & although she weighs less than Kali & Oliver she is taller than both of them. LHH thinks she’s 7 or 8 years old. She’s extremely thin & I wonder if her back legs work properly, because she had a little trouble jumping up on the couch…or maybe she just wasn’t sure if it was OK. She does look a little wobbly sometimes. She has a long, thin tail…maybe it’s a Schnauzer tail that wasn’t docked? Her head is bigger & her muzzle is longer. She has pretty, expressive eyes. So far she’s let me touch her feet, her ears, her tummy & clean her eyes without any hesitation or pulling away. She does have a few lumps that I will tell the vet about…but Kali does too & they’re benign. Her teeth are a little yellowed – LHH said they were in horrible shape when they got her. They rescued her from a high-kill shelter…don’t know why her family left her there, with bows in her hair. They called & wanted to take her back home but never showed up to get her. (Although the paperwork I got said she was a stray…?)

They assured me her health is fine, gave me some food for her & off we went. Kali & Oliver rode in the back & I held Sasha in the front seat. Everyone was very quiet on the 90 minute ride home. I don’t think anyone fed her today though, because she seemed very hungry & thirsty.

When we got home we went directly outside – where she immediately went potty. I showed her the dog door, tapped it, & she went right through. She’s taller so she has to duck a little bit – but I think we can raise it an inch or so.

She was extremely hungry…fed her the food they gave me, Life’s Abundance. It’s a really good, high quality food, but I’ll have to switch her because it has oats in it. Kali is allergic to oats & tries to steal everybody’s food, so all food has to be OK for her to eat. Oliver eats Natural Balance so that’s what she’ll get, along with green beans & other veggies now & then.

After everybody had lunch (I had Taco Bell in the truck…even though she was hungry & sitting in my lap she was quite polite & didn’t beg much) it was another trip outside…I held the door flap open & she went through.

That’s when the trouble started…she sat near me & growled at the other 2 when they came close. At one point I thought she might snap at Oliver. Oliver is the sweetest boy in the whole world & now he’s looking at me like, What have you done to us, Mommy?? Also when we’re walking around the living room she does this growly-whimpery thing. They told me she was needy, which is fine with me – just so long as she doesn’t try to push the other dogs out. Kali is independent & doesn’t need much reassurance…if you’re out of the room for more than 3 minutes though, she has to come find out what you’re doing. But Oliver is also pretty needy…sometimes he puts his paws on my legs & just wants me to pick him up & hold him. I did this & Sasha growled at us. I’m trying to be a good leader…I haven’t really needed to before, as everyone just got along naturally.

Now Sasha is having growling contests with Kali, who is very dominant. I know Kali will snap if provoked, but I’ve only seen her do it when food was involved. Should I let them work it out or try to step in & break them up? So far they are only nose to nose & no one has made a lunge or anything. She also tried it with Oliver but he just turns away & hides his face…he’s completely submissive to everyone.


Sasha – Day 2
July 24, 2009, 3:47 pm
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July 6, 2009

It was a rough night…but then most of my nights are rough (insomnia, pain, dogs in & out of bed…). I don’t usually close my bedroom door but I did last night, because I’m not sure if I can trust Sasha to have the run of the place unsupervised yet. I brought one of the dog beds laying around the living room into my room & put it on the floor next to my head. Kali & Oliver usually sleep on my bed with me (it’s a CA king)…if it’s cold, I’m the filling in a doggie sandwich! Kali is restless so she’s up & down a lot. When it was time for bed Oliver claimed the little bed on the floor, Kali was in the middle of the big bed, & I put Sasha in the dog bed on the bed. She didn’t stay there long…she wanted to sleep ON me. More precisely, draped over my neck! It seemed like dominant, possessive behavior – so I sat up and made her move. She tried to keep her head & front feet on my pillow & kept scratching my ear…I tried to move her further down & eventually she stayed. Everyone must’ve been happy because I didn’t hear any grumbling. Kali got me up around 5 as usual, to go to the bathroom. So everyone went out & did their thing & we went back to bed. At one point all 3 were on the bed with me.

Before I went to bed I started getting a migraine – got much worse through the night (nothing new to me). Too much stress & nerves & bad road food probably. Still feeling bad & thinking I’ve ruined my perfect little doggie family…wondering how awful a person I’d be if I took her back to the rescue. But then I remembered I sort of felt the same way after I brought Oliver home…now I can’t imagine life without him.

There’s been less growling today, but she has barked at Oliver a few times when he was closer to me than she was. Poor boy doesn’t know how to deal with it. I’m not sure either – other than to tell her No & praise her when she stops. I’ve also tried snapping my fingers or clapping to distract her.

Sasha’s very good walking on a leash…hardly pulled at all. Between the other 2, my arms are a few inches longer than they were a few years ago. I took them before the rush of walkers…since it was our first walk. We did meet 1 big lab…Kali is the worst, barking & lunging. Oliver gets really excited & has this super shrill bark, but he calms down when people pet him or he can smell the other dog. Problem is, most dogs keep their distance because of Kali, which further excites Oliver…I keep meaning to take treats to try to distract Kali so she won’t bark. I’m sure people see us & think, oh, no, it’s THOSE dogs. So today, Kali’s barking & lunging, the other owner was petting Oliver who was then quiet & happy, & Sasha was just standing calmly watching everything. The poor lab was very mellow & sweet but kept his distance. It was pretty hot & Kali was having a little trouble, so we turned around before the usual halfway point. We passed a group of kids & one of them said (I think about Sasha), “Aww, that one’s cute…They’re ALL cute!” That was nice to hear!

Sasha’s had 1 little accident. I didn’t see her do it but she had been standing right there a minute before. It almost looked like throw-up but I think it was pee…although it didn’t really smell like pee.

My aunt is still not talking to me…she thinks I’m crazy & shouldn’t have more than 2 dogs. She’s spending all her time in her room. (She usually never goes in her room…she sleeps on the living room couch.) 🙂


Sasha is frightfully thin…her ‘rescue mom’ assured me she just has a thin frame. She almost reminds me of the dogs with the horrible hip bones sticking out on the Animal Cops shows. I want to feed her a bunch – & she wants to eat! But I don’t want to overcompensate too quickly.

I can’t wait to cut her hair – but I’m sure she’ll look like a skeleton when I do. I can’t get the bows out of her hair because they are matted in…I’ll eventually cut the little ponytails off.

I think she was in some kind of accident…sometimes she walks a little funny & has trouble jumping. It also seems like it hurts her hind end when I pick her up. Oliver was scared of being picked up at first…hopefully it’s the same with her, but I think it’s more. We’ll see on Friday, which is the soonest vet appt. I could get.

She wants to possess my lap. I’m trying to let her know it’s OK when it’s MY choice, not hers.

She’s already answering to her new name. 😀 I was in another room and said, “Sasha, come!” and she did! She also seems to know Sit. The dog door & stairs are no problem.

She doesn’t like waiting, but she waits her turn when I hand out the food bowls…she’s third in line, although Oliver doesn’t really care. As long as Kali’s first we have peace.

After she gets up from sleeping she stretches…puts her front legs out & CROSSES her paws while she stretches. So dainty!

So far she doesn’t seem to be a big barker. Oliver barks at noises – car doors in the lot, kids screaming outside the fence, dogs running behind the fence. Kali joins him too when she hears it (I think her hearing’s going). Sasha only barked a little when there were some dogs outside, I think. She also sat quietly at the screen door when the UPS guy dropped off a package, even though Oliver was upstairs barking as soon as the truck pulled up.