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Raw Fed and loving it!

"She had no particular breed in mind, no unusual requirements, except the special sense of mutual recognition that tells dog and human they have both come to the right place" Lloyd Alexander


  • I went through advanced obedience and passed my CGC test.....now I'm officially a Canine Good Citizen.
  • Since I have my CGC now, I participated in "DOGGONE GOOD READING" organized by Mrs. Spellman (Emily to me) at the Potlatch Elementary School. I enjoyed having children read books to me, not to mention the great thank you cards they made!
  • I won second place at the 4th of July "Mutt Strut."
  • Things have also changed on the allergy front. My diet has been changed yet AGAIN (for the umpteenth zillionth time since I was adopted) to better manage my allergies. What dog would complain about a raw diet? Not me!
  • What can I say about myself? I'm 5-6 yrs old. I've lived with my human 2+ years. Humans generally want to know what I am before they ask who I am. I guess a "black dog sitting in front of you" is usually not specific enough. The consensus is basset/cocker, but it doesn't matter. I'm a dog, and that's what counts. Yes, I wear a " can-see-me-a-mile-away" pink collar. My human contends that it's really orange and purple if you look closely. She loves it. But it's pink. And I could care less. My haircut hasn't given me a complex, so why would my collar?

What I am known for

  • my obsession with fetch and tennis balls, regardless of the time of year.
  • I can barely contain myself when I see someone with a "chuck-it"
  • my ability to pop a tennis ball in 3 minutes flat
  • my ability to destroy nearly any ball (soccerball, football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, tennis balls...raquet balls are the only exception)
  • proving that Kongs are not as indestructible as my human thought they were
  • being one of the region's shortest frisbee dogs (soft frisbee only, please)
  • being a waterdog extraordinaire

These are a few of my favorite things
(besides tennis balls, that is)

  • Walks - I love getting out to see the world every day!
  • Car trips - my humans says I make a fantastic co-pilot. I just chill and enjoy the scenery. Road trips rule.
  • Obedience class/ learning - what can I say, I like to be a well rounded individual
  • Hand signals - one of those better ideas created by humans. I love obedience exercises with just hand signals...though my human gets annoyed when I sometimes purposefully look away so I don't have to "listen"

A Bit Of My Background

I was picked up as a stray and taken in by the Humane Society of the Palouse. I was a 75% bald, infected mess. I was named Billy (after a billy goat) by the staff because of my horrible stench from the skin infections and the weird yodeling noise I made while being bathed. I am extremely lucky that I was taken in by a shelter that was willing to put the money and time into getting me vet care and providing the support I needed to recover. If I had been abandoned in Spokane or Lewiston, I would have been euthanized because of my medical problems. My human is eternally grateful to the HSOP for saving and treating me. They put me on prescription food, medications, medicated daily baths to help clear the body-wide bacterial and fungal infection I had. My hair actually mostly grew back... a big surprise to everyone.

How we met

She says she wasn't looking for a dog. But sometimes I think lives cross paths for a reason.

I was depressed and laying on the ground with little dogs yapping and jumping all around me. My human was dropping off rabbit supplies at the shelter, but randomly decided to take a look at us dogs...something she rarely did. Her basset Katie had died 5 months prior and there were no plans in the works for another canine. But when we made eye contact, she says knew. By then I was only 25% bald, and actually looking pretty good. My ears, parts of my face and legs had large bald areas, but the rest had mainly grown in. She's had a long history of taking home "rejects", so she wasn't put off by my baldness. She was assured by the staff it was allergies, though it was doubtful the hair would ever grow completely in.

She was logical about it, took me for walks, talked to the staff about managing my problems, read up on what might have to be done and talked with her vet about how the problems could progress. She decided I was worth the gamble and brought me home.

House rabbits, horses, and turkeys, oh my!
Why won't Vegas just leave me alone?

My life is well rounded, but could be considered somewhat strange by others. It's now routine, but my human realizes that she asks a lot from me. I live with a house rabbit . Yes, a house rabbit. They hop on furniture, they are very smart and can be litterbox trained. The human has many years of experience with dog/rabbit households and the rabbit and I are always supervised if we are loose together, so I'm in good hands. I do have to mention that I really preferred Presley. We were great buddies. My human was heart broken when he died at the age of 13. She originally adopted him 12 years ago from the Humane Society of the Palouse, where she later adopted several of her house rabbits over the years. Many rabbits across the U.S. end up in the shelter system. I thought for a while that maybe I would be rabbit-free, but 8 months later Vegas arrived home from the Idaho Humane Society (in Boise).

I wish I could send him back.

He is not afraid of anything. He is constantly wanting to sniff me, jump over me, binky next to me and race around. (In the photo I was minding my own business before he boinked up there to pester me. Again. You can see how thrilled I am.) At least he's neutered so I don't have to worry about him trying anything funny...unaltered bunnies can be walking hormones! It just never ends with him. He's like living with a ping-pong ball that is way too smart for his own good. And yes, he does plot things out. If my human is petting me, he runs over, bats his big brown eyes, and climbs his fuzzy butt into her lap demanding cuddle time. It's all calculated. He grabs my things and throws them around the room. Sure, the human stops him, but he's not expected to be compliant. He's a rabbit. I wish he had to go to obedience class, maybe that would level the playing field a little. He's only 2, she expects he will stay this way until he's around 6. It's just great I ended up living with a rabbit advocate.

The horses are a piece of cake. I enjoy eating grass next to Pat (a 400 lb cart pony) when he's grazing in the yard. We are great pals. The mares...well that's a different story. One of them wants to kill me. But my human says I have great manners around horses. I never chase or bark at them, I stay out of both arenas and the pasture. I sit quietly and observe while she grooms and works them. The wild turkeys and deer I no longer chase, but I do occasionally bark at a wild tom if he's displaying in the yard. He needs to do that nonsense somewhere else.

What's a dog to do?

Late Spring through Fall are the best part of the year, since it is prime time for excursions into the great outdoors. 10 miles south of the Canadian border is a slice of heaven for dogs and humans alike. A river to swim in 2 blocks from the house, mountains everywhere, the High Lines to follow, and a mountain lake that has one of my human's favorite hiking trails. It's bear country, which is why I have to stay on-lead. My human has had many black bear run-in's while hiking with dogs and it works out best if the dogs are leashed...or so she tells me. I'm sure I could hold my own.

Did I mention I love sticks, too? Me at the Mill Pond creek

Walk softly, but carry a BIG stick! This is Sweet Creek Falls

What the Dog Park is to me
munching on a tennis ball at the dog park

I may not have to best reputation at the dog park. Sure, I am not a perfect dog. (I would like to meet one, if there is such a thing). I have reasonable social skills, which have improved greatly since I was first adopted. I enjoy my familiar dog friends and their humans very much. I can be found chasing or chewing on tennis balls at the dog park any time of year. I may not be actively playing with many dogs, but I enjoying hanging out with this gang tremendously. I start whining and yodeling in the car when we are still 1/2 a mile away. After I've arrived and am settled down, I always make a point greet the humans. The dog park is definitely the place to be.

Some of my canine pals

Roxanne is the best canine friend I've had since living with my human. Roxie and I were a surprising match, with her being the complete alpha, but we would play and wrestle for hours. I always looked forward to seeing her when we'd head north to see family. Roxanne was a smart, fun, very sweet girl, and was lost suddenly to hemolytic anemia mid Nov. 2007. We loved her and she is greatly missed.

The Infamous Z-Dog. What can I say? I dig dominant chicks. Maybe it's those big beautiful ears, or maybe it's that special look she get's in her eye when another dog approaches her frisbee.....whatever it is, it's pure magic. I've got a big crush on the Z-Dog and had a fabulous time playing with her at Emily's house. She will even sometimes play with me at the dog park (when no one's looking, of course.) Z's human, Emily, used to kiss me when I got baths as a shelter dog.

m. Sam (the yellow lab in the photo playing tug-of-war with Maverick) and I have become good friends over time. She plays with me when I go over to her house and visit. She doesn't even kick me out for destroying her toys, even though my human always feels really bad about it! If the planets are aligned just right, we sometimes briefly play at the dog park. Mainly she plays with her boyfriend Maverick. I don't mind, I'm just happy to see her at the dog park and repeatedly pester her humans to pet me.

Tamarack. Actually, I can't stand Tamarack. I growl at him every time he comes near me. BUT I adore his human. I cry and cry until she pets me. Then I usually cry some more. I just can't contain myself. She used to be our neighbor and I'm always happy to see her....it's just that Tamarack is always there. My human thinks he's a great dog. But I beg to differ.

Plans for the future

I'm a dog, I don't worry about the future. My human is putting me into an Advanced Obedience early this spring, so that should be entertaining. I actually really enjoy class and get very excited when I know we're going. What can I say? I like to work. And I like the fun games we play at home using obedience commands. "Find It" is my favorite game. She puts me on a "stay" and hides the toy or ball somewhere in the house or out in the yard. She comes back and tells me to "find it." I would play it for hours if my human wasn't bored after the first 20 send outs. I can't help it if she has a short attention span.

Otherwise, I guess my days will be filled with outings of different sorts, dealing with a house rabbit and horses and trips to the dog park.....after all, that's the place to be!

Did someone say fetch?

Think adoption...a life may depend on it