Ziggy Yellow Labrador Retriever Male 5 Years Old


yellow labrador retriever laying in grass

Thursday, September 6, 2018

RESCUE RIDE for Ziggy yesterday, whose whole world turned upside down when his owner passed away a week ago. His extended family wasn’t able to give him the time/attention he deserves, so they reached out to Brookline for help. The family was very emotional when they said good bye, but they knew they were doing what’s best for Ziggy. His family really appreciates all Brookline has done for them and Ziggy. Thanks to everyone who helped bring Ziggy into the rescue.

Thursday, September 6, 2018 – 10:45 p.m.

Ziggy has landed at his foster mom’s home!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you Jen Johnson for all you did to help this handsome, sweet, gentle, barely 5-year old boy (Ziggy turns 5 on November 28) by completing his dog evaluation, owner surrender interviews with extended family members, and then she even transported him over an hour to me tonight!

Thanks also to Brookline Labrador Retriever Rescue for sponsoring this big boy (93 lbs!) so that we can find him a new forever home. Sadly, Ziggy’s owner died very recently and the extended family were unable to give Ziggy the time and attention he deserves, so as hard as it was for them, they decided to surrender him.

Tonight, Ziggy is very confused, definitely sad, extremely stressed and anxious. He has been pacing and panting since he arrived around 8:30 p.m. Please send some positive mojo and healing love his way!

yellow labrador retriever laying down
Ziggy chilling out

Friday, September 7, 2018 – 7:00 a.m.

A new day dawning and the start of Ziggy’s new life!

He did pretty well last night, considering how stressed he was. He hesitated to go up my carpeted stairs to the 2nd floor, but when I led him on a leash and excitedly encouraged him, he quickly followed me to my office. I slept sporadically on the couch and Ziggy, who has never been crated, slept restlessly on the floor, mostly ignoring the dog bed and pillows that I provided. His family also sent a pillow with him, which he sniffed a few times and settled nearby.

Typically, I’m an early riser, so at 4 a.m. I got up to let out my dogs May, Mitzi, Daisy and my other foster Bullet a 6.5 month old black Lab, fed them and put them back upstairs in my bedroom. I also am fostering a 5 lb., 5.5 month old Poodle puppy who stays in my large 2nd floor bathroom in a play yard – so I also fed Roxy and changed her potty pads. All the dogs were awesome…not one bark!

I had an appointment for 8:30 a.m. Friday morning for Ziggy to be neutered, and also for Roxy to be spayed. Boy was I shocked when he refused to leave my office! He didn’t even want to go near the door’s threshold! And when a 93 lb. dog doesn’t want to move, well, he doesn’t move!  It took me a full hour to coax Ziggy out of the office and finally down the stairs to go outside. Keep in mind, I couldn’t use food treats to bribe him, since he was going to have surgery!

Getting this terrified, extremely nervous 93 lb. dog downstairs was a feat even I am proud I accomplished. Using two baby gates to corral him, I calmly spoke to him and inched him closer and closer to the top of the steps, all while he panted, quivered, and dripped non-stop nervous slobber from his tongue. Once positioned at the top of the stairs, he gave up and let me lead him by leash down to the first landing. After 10 more minutes of anxious quivering and hunkering there, in one quick burst of courage he rushed down the remaining flight to the first floor! Hallelujah!!! We went out into the grey dawn and he went potty. Phew!!!

He wanted to go right back up to the office, but the gate at the bottom of the stairs stopped him. He paced, panted and followed me around until it was time to leave. I think he wanted to eat, because he kept going to the gate blocking off the kitchen, but there will be no food for this boy until later tonight, at the earliest.

It’s time to go get dressed, let the other dogs out again, put Roxy into a travel crate and get the two of them into the car for the ride to the animal hospital. Here’s hoping I can get Ziggy into the car by myself without too much ado! Wish me luck!!!

yellow labrador retriever
Ziggy does NOT like going down stairs!

Friday, September 7, 2018 – 9:15 a.m.

Ziggy was a trooper!

He just needed a boost from the rear to hop up and into my car’s back seat, and he went in willingly!!! He rode quietly in the backseat of my car to the animal hospital. Yay!!! I’ll be picking him and Roxy up late this afternoon, or early evening. Keeping my fingers crossed that his recovery post-surgery (he is getting neutered and having a scrotal ablation as well, because he is a big boy).

Friday, September 7, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.

Picked Ziggy and Roxy up after their surgeries and on the way home hit a heavy, drenching thunderstorm! The highway was packed and starting to have quite a bit of rainwater collecting as we inched along. It was a harrowing trip, but we made it home, and I got both dogs into the house. Ziggy barely seemed affected by his surgery – walking steady and evidently hungry because he went straight to the kitchen and sniffed the sir by the counter where his dog food container sat. I made him about half his regular bowl of kibble and wet food, and he gulped it down. The rain had let up, and he went out to the yard with me and peed. That first pee – and later his first poop – post-surgery are always reason for a huge sigh of relief

He slept very well through the night – this time we stayed downstairs and I slept on the couch in my living room while he curled up on an old afghan on the floor.

The first couple days after Ziggy’s surgery, and while he was still on medication, he slept quite a bit, ate and drank well, and did his business regularly. By Monday however, I noticed he was beginning to lick too much (the stitches were probably starting to pull as his incision healed) so I got out an inflatable ring, blew it up, and slipped it around his neck. He didn’t care for it at all – tried rubbing, tugging and biting with his teeth to get it off. I sat with him for quite awhile petting him, calming him down, and eventually he settled – begrudgingly. I was anxious that when I left for work the next day, he might succeed in getting it off, but when my daughter went over to let the dogs out midday, he was still wearing it! Another yay! Ziggy seems to be a very reasonable fellow!

Thursday, September 13, 2018 – 4:30 p.m.

Ziggy has been with me for one week! His care packages from Brookline arrived and he is one happy pup! He got a nice big dog bed, lotsa fun toys, tennis balls a couple bones, and other yummy treats. He pranced proudly around with the soft, furry squeaky animal – I think that will become a favorite along with the braided felt tug toy!

Ziggy would not go back up the stairs to the 2nd floor after being neutered, so I couldn’t keep him in my office where I could shut a door and keep him safely separated from the other dogs until he healed enough and could meet them. Besides, I really didn’t want him going back up the stairs because it was so hard to get him to come down the first morning he was here! And since Ziggy has never been crated before, I had to improvise fast when I brought him home after surgery.

My solution, albeit temporary, until I can introduce him to the other dogs, was to set him up in my living room. Besides the gate, I added a “to-the-floor” curtain hanging on a tension rod to create a visual screen to block his view, and to block the other dog’s view of him when they would go past the living room to the back door on trips outside. Thankfully, Ziggy respects gates, is housebroken, is not a barker, and (so far) doesn’t chew up things he shouldn’t. In addition to Ziggy just being neutered and needing to rest, the constant rain this week and my work schedule made it impossible to do any dog intros.

Regardless of challenges, we have managed. I marvel at how things work out, despite the obstacles that come up. I am tired, ready to get this bunch on the same schedule, so please pray for sun – or at least not rain – soon!

yellow labrador retriever ball in mouth
Ziggy – play fetch!

Sunday, September 16, 2018 – 6:00 p.m.

As of tonight, Ziggy has been here 10 days. The first 5 or so days he was very easy-going and low-key though still friendly. I am sure this was partly due to confusion about his change in homes, getting his bearings, and post-op recovery. A couple days ago he started really coming out of his shell and seems genuinely happy and more confident. He is no couch potato, either! He is strong as an ox, and stubborn, too. He loves to spill water bowls by stepping both paws into them, then pawing and splashing! Not sure if this means he’d be a good swimmer, as many Labs love water.

As all dogs are, Ziggy is oblivious to his size, but he’s close to 100 lbs. so I have had to work with him on commands like “back” (when he gets too close and bumps into me or steps on my feet) “easy” (when he is excited, moves too quickly, and knocks things over) and “down” (when he’s lying down, he can’t knock you off your feet!). Although I have tried a couple times this week, I can’t walk him (safely) outside the yard yet. It does not seem as though he has ANY experience walking on a leash, and he is super excited to get outside the gate and begins to pull immediately.

The only harness I have that fits him is an Easy Walk (back clip) which does absolutely nothing to help me control him – just gives his large chest more ability to pull! So, I have been working with him inside the yard…so far without significant progress, but we will keep trying. Usually, when a dog begins to pull and I stop, turn and wait for him to follow, then reward him, he begins to pick up on the idea that if he pulls or walks ahead, we go in the opposite direction, and he gets nowhere fast! But with Ziggy, when he pulls ahead, or decides to go in a direction I don’t want him to go, he just goes. My dog trainer friend suggested using a Gentle Leader, which I don’t have. An adoptive family may need to work with a dog trainer to train him on a more suitable harness (a Forever harness might work, but again the one I have is not large enough), or the Gentle Leader.

Another friend of mine, who has been helping me by walking Bullet, came over today and we introduced “the boys.” (My dogs are all female.) We got them together in the yard and let them meet on leash – I can’t let them loose together in the yard since Ziggy is still healing from surgery. He had diarrhea post surgery, then semi-soft stools off and on for the last week – so I have him on half boiled chicken and rice with dry kibble and it is helping. He is still separated from my own 3 dogs, but I hope to get them introduced soon.

yellow labrador retriever ball in mouth
Ziggy loves her squeaky tennis ball!

He loves to play – fetch, tug, chase – pretty much with any toy at all – but he’s so big and clumsy it’s hard to play with him in the house due to space, and I am still concerned about letting him go full out when he’s in the yard because I don’t want him to rip his stitches. He had a scrotal ablation; not just neutering. Last night when I took him out for the final potty break before bedtime, he was feeling his oats, pulled the leash from my hand, and started running around too much. I caught him, but he tried to run past me up the deck and knocked me off my feet onto the deck stairs. My shins suffered – one gash, some scrapes, small cuts and bruises. He was also mildly limping this morning, so I gave him a chewable Tramadol; he’s fine now!

There is much more to tell and yet it is all normal stuff with getting accustomed to each other, settling into routines, adjusting to a new diet (he was eating a below average dry dog food product before he arrived), learning new rules and boundaries, and getting used to me and the other people who visit my house semi-regularly.

He is a delightful boy – definitely needs and deserves a person or family who can give him adequate attention to use up his energy, continued instructions and training, and maybe a dog sister or brother of similar age and build to play with, too!

Adopt Your New Best Friend! 

PLEASE NOTE: While this Lab may not be available for adoption by the time you complete the adoption process, other great Labs are always finding their way into our Rescue.

If you are interested in adopting this Lab or any other Lab from our Rescue, please visit our Web site, www.brooklinelabrescue.org, for more information on our adoption process. If you need additional information about the adoption process or whether you are in our coverage area, please send an e-mail to our Rescue at info@brooklinelabrescue.org

Even if you are not ready to adopt, you can still help us help our Labs!

Brookline Labrador Retriever Rescue is a 501(c)3 non-profit volunteer organization funded entirely by donations. Donations are always needed to help with veterinary costs, transportation, and supplies for our dogs. For information on donating to BLRR please click here. https://brooklinelabrescue.org/get-involved/donate/ Donations are accepted via PayPal or you can mail a check to: Brookline Labrador Retriever Rescue, P.O. Box 638, Warrington, PA 18976-0638