Jessie #2 Chocolate Labrador Retriever Female 9 Years Old ID #2845
Jessie is a nine year old breeder Mama who has had ten litters already! Jessie is ready to give up the farm life of Punxatawny for a quiet, slow paced life with a real family to love. Jessie is currently in a foster home. Please read her blog from the bottom up.
December 3, 2020
Things with Jessie had settled into a routine, and Jessie was happy to comply. In the beginning she was a bit unhappy to be left in her room and would try to dart out the door when I left for work, but now she goes in and stays easily (the door to her room, not the door to the house). This was the case at nighttime too. I had off Thanksgiving week, and that kind of messed our schedule up. Jessie now sleeps in my room at night. And she is less happy to be alone in her room while I’m at work. She still goes in and stays easily but I hear more whining through the video while I’m at work. Jessie sleeps soundly throughout the night but she does snore. Nothing that I can’t sleep through though! While she has plenty of toys, she doesn’t play with any of them during the day and she has no interest in the nylabone, so I understand that she is not as happy when being home alone. She finishes a bully stick in an hour these days. She has 2 dog beds that she doesn’t lay on. I try to force her to lay on one upstairs instead of the hard floors, and she will for a bit, especially if it’s at my feet. But she will also walk around it and just lay on the hard floor anyway.
Jessie still loves her walks more than anything. Since she has been with me, she has more energy and more pep in her step. She isn’t pulling terribly, but some times in the beginning of the walk I need to keep the leash short so she stays by my side. After a while, she will slow down and naturally stay at my side. I think she has lost some weight just looking at the pictures, but at ~100lbs I can’t exactly pick her up to see what we are on the scale!
Jessie has developed a bit of a fear of getting in the car. I’m sure this stemming from the vet visit and the microchip visit. The microchip visit was in a busy shopping center and at the time she was really scared of all the loud, moving cars (she has gotten much better with this through the walks though). I started by first just sitting in the car with her, and then going on short drives. Since she’s not very food motivated, it’s hard to reward her for this. I think I will try hot dogs next.
Jessie is not afraid of thunder but does not like fireworks. Unfortunately in my neighborhood fireworks are going off all the time. If there were a bunch at once, Jessie would look around, but when they stopped, she would just lay down again. But when 1 or 2 go off every 10 minutes, she starts shaking. I give her hugs and put a sheet on the couch so we cuddle, but she won’t stop until the fireworks stop for good. Whenever Jessie is anxious she always grabs her favorite stuffed squirrel. This is definitely a comforting thing for her. If she was in the living room, she will go downstairs to find it. And then I see her panting as if something as spooked her. So now whenever she goes out of her way to go find it, I know immediately that she’s unhappy about something.
Speaking of the couch, Jessie is only allowed up when the sheet is on. I don’t know if she’s figured this out yet, but I think she’s getting there. If I take the sheet off, she will still try to get up, but I would tell her no or get down, and the she won’t try again until the sheet is back.
Now that Jessie is mostly settled in, I’m trying to teach her how to sit. In the beginning I wasn’t sure if she knew this command or not since she always just comes up to you, sits immediately, and then paws your leg to get pets (which some people are mistaking for shake, but whenever someone takes her paw, she looks confused and pulls it away). I’ve been teaching her with treats to sit, but I wonder if this would also work if what I’m offering is pets instead. That is what she loves most.
November 9, 2020
Jessie is going to be available soon. She still needs another month and a half before she can get spayed. However, Jessie is such a good, happy girl that I don’t think she needs to stay in foster care for that long. One of the things the vet mentioned is that Jessie has abnormal nipples and to keep an eye on them for any change or infection. Nothing has changed while in foster care. The vet said he does not think she has tumors or he would have just done a biopsy, just that it is something to be aware of and keep an eye on.
Jessie has definitely gotten more comfortable being inside and has even found some…. let’s call them ‘design flaws’ in my new home. It hasn’t been anything that can’t be fixed, but she will find things to do if she gets too bored. One of the things she did was to start pulling my curtains down when she inadvertently got free range to my living room. So now I know that the doorknob to the lower level doesn’t always click in place. After a while it occurred to me that the reason she probably went after the curtains is because she likes to move things like blankets and dog beds and towels around her room. She probably wondered why this large blanket wouldn’t come with her.Jessie has started eating the dry kibble alone. She still rarely eats when I’m home with her. That means on the weekends, sometimes she won’t eat until late afternoon, maybe once she realizes I’m not leaving for work today, and she’s hungry! I also believe we have turned a corner with her reacting to herself in the mirror. When I was getting ready in the morning, she kept catching herself in the mirror and growling, but I showed her myself through the mirror and now every morning I see her looking at me through the mirror and she hasn’t growled at herself since that day. She has also started going to the bathroom more frequently and even did both on our walk this morning for the first time! I have been getting VERY EXCITED every time she goes to the bathroom and she loves the excitement so I really think it’s been helping her want to go more often. Still no accidents in the house and she’s even indicated to go out a couple times, so I think it’s safe to say that Jessie is housebroken!
Jessie is not very food motivated (although she has favorite treats) but she is very motivated by attention and excitement. She has no interest in the nylabone which I assumed was because of her teeth, but now I’m thinking she just doesn’t know what to do with it. I bought her a bully stick to see if she would go for it and she did. The first one she chewed on a little every day, so it lasted almost the entire week. The second time I got one for her she finished it in an hour. Jessie has also finished her meds for the Ehrlichia, which she took excitedly when they were in a chicken flavored pill pocket. The vet said she could test positive in the future again, but if she has no symptoms (which she didn’t) she may not even need the medication, only if she has a flare up of symptoms (which he said would be similar to Lyme disease).
There were a couple fireworks that went off when we were walking this past weekend. They did frighten her. She started pulling a lot on the walk and panting heavily. There were only a couple and they stopped before we got home, so I did not see her reaction to them inside the house. You can hear both the train and the fire station from my house pretty clearly and she does not react to either one of those.
One very adorable feature of Jessie is that when she gets really excited her teeth chatter. I hear this mostly in the mornings when we’re getting ready to go for a walk. She absolutely loves everyone she meets, whether we’re out on a walk or at home. Jessie would be great in almost any home. The only stipulation is really that she has to be the only animal in the home, and I would not recommend a city setting because truck and loud cars do still scare her a bit on walks. Jessie had a resident dog in her original foster home, but she started to react to the resident dog and one of the cats so it was decided she would prefer to be the only animal. While on walks she never reacts to the other dogs across the street or behind fences, large or small, even if that dog is reacting towards her.
She loves going for walks and as long as someone is willing to do that, I don’t think a fenced in yard is necessary. Especially since if you go outside with her, she just wants to sit at your feet and spends little time exploring the yard. She rarely pulls on a leash and will stay by your side. What Jessie wants the most is to just spend time with her human and getting pets. So I think it would be best for her to go somewhere where she is not spending a full work day alone.
October 29, 2020
Things have been pretty uneventful with Jessie. She is such a good, happy girl who just wants to be with people, and get pets all the time. She would absolutely prefer to have someone who is home most of the day. She is still pooping infrequently, and urinating every other day, but no accidents inside the house (although I would understand if she did considering how long she holds it). She seemed to be a bit panicky this morning, and I wondered if it was because of the wind and rain. I left some sleepy classical music on for her today. I get the feeling she would not be happy about thunder and fireworks.
Initially when I started covering her crate with a sheet to help create more of a den feeling, she kept pulling the sheet off. I assumed she didn’t want it, and stopped putting it down there. However she is starting to get curious, so she started pulling down my Wyze cam routinely. She also got her teeth on the molding of the shelf that was built around my water shutoff valves (although in her defense, I realized that the molding on it was quite flimsy so I don’t think she had to try too hard to break it off). I decided to keep putting the sheet down there because even though she will move it every time, I think she enjoys rearranging the room, so I actually started putting more things down there for her. She pulled the pad out of the crate, the dog bed, the food bowl, the mat that her food bowl was on, the sheet that was covering her crate, and all the toys were put in one corner of the room where she then slept. Every time I come home I put everything back where it was and the second I leave she starts moving it all again.
For the most part, Jessie will sleep through the night. Every now and then she’ll whine late at night, but not barking. She tends to wake up around 5:30/6am, but I imagine if she was allowed to sleep in the room with her human, she’d be content for much longer than that.
Over this past weekend, my friends and their children came over to carve pumpkins. She really does seem to gravitate towards men and just wanted the husband to pet her constantly. The kids are 8 and 3 years old. She did very well with both although she had little interest in chasing the ball kept trying to throw. She will get it a few times, but once the 8 year old was settled, Jessie just sat next to her while she pet her.
Jessie is also getting more comfortable on her walks. She will stay next to you for the most part, but especially in the beginning she wants to get moving and will pull just a bit. If you keep the leash short and next to you, she does a great job of staying there. Sometimes she will stop quick if she smells something interesting and every now and then she’ll cross in front of you if the leash is long enough. She is interested in the little animals, squirrels and rabbits, and will make a sudden move to go after them, but once you say her name and pull her back she gives up quickly. I did see her chase a bunny in my backyard but she is not near fast enough to catch it. We see multiple dogs on all of our walks and she’ll look at them, but doesn’t react and just keeps moving along. If a dog is barking at her from behind a fence, she’ll perk up and look but once I tell her to keep going, she just turns her head and keeps moving. All of my direct neighbors have dogs. All 3 sides are privacy fences so she can’t see any of them but when she senses them or hears them barking she is definitely interested and goes over to the fence to sniff, but quickly gets bored and comes right back to me for more pets. She can see through the side of the fence that faces the street. When dogs pass by the front yard, she will run from one side of the fence to the other to watch, but once they’re gone or if I just call her name she’s right back at my side.
She knows her name and she also knows the command “Come Here”. I think she knows “Stay” but chooses to ignore me when I’m leaving for work. She sits gently all the time so even if you think to say the command, she’s sitting before you get the words out. She does not know Lay Down, and it’s been hard to teach her because she only wants to Sit so you can still reach her head.
October 23, 2020
Jessie has been with me for a week now and she is settling in nicely. She is a total sweetheart who just wants love and pets. She is a fantastic walker who will stay right next to you. She is a young 9 year old who can move pretty quickly considering her weight and age. And while she needs the walk, I get the impression she could take or leave them; what she really wants is for you to sit in front of her and pet her.
Jessie is left in the lower level of my split level home with the doors shut and the crate open. She goes back and forth between laying in the crate or laying between the crate and the wall when she’s alone. I tried putting a sheet over the crate to help create more of a den feeling. However, some days she’d rather play with it by moving it around the room instead of laying in the den. If anything is left in the room, she will pick it up and move it into her crate, including her food bowl when she’s done eating and even my Wyze cam when she noticed it in the window.
Jessie had her first vet visit on Thursday. She got in and out of the car easily and rode nicely in the backseat. She put her head at my shoulder wanting pets, but eventually laid down. The vet recommended she be spayed in about two months. He mentioned her teeth aren’t great, and has a couple broken teeth but no infections and he does not recommend pulling any. He said none of them seem to be causing her pain, and with her age the invasive procedure would not be worth it. He said we could re-evaluate if there is a time where there does appear to be pain or infection. She is a bit of a picky eater and has no desire to eat the kibble that I have. I have been going back, and forth between giving her only wet food, and a mixture of softened kibble with the wet food. However, if it’s just kibble (not softened) and the wet food, she will just not eat.
She is still hesitant on going to the bathroom routinely. She held out for another four days so I did not have a stool sample when we went to the vet, but I will be dropping one off as the vet visit seemed to help her go on Thursday night. There does appear to be a pattern that she will only go at night time in my backyard. She does not go on walks, and will not go in the backyard when there is still sunlight. Hopefully as she gets more comfortable she’ll will start going more routinely.
Jessie has also tested positive for Ehrlichia, a tick-borne disease. She appears to be asymptomatic so there is no telling how long she has been infected. But it doesn’t seem to bother her. She is quite the happy pup.
Jessie appears to know the commands No and Stay. I’ve also been working on Sit, but she does that without the command to get treats and pets so I’m not quite sure if she knows it or if she was going to sit anyway. We haven’t been doing too many commands since she is still settling in.
Jessie is also scared of the loud work trucks and other loud vehicles that come down my street. For that reason, I spend the shortest amount of time on that street, although we have to walk it at least a little every day. One day this week, a UPS truck driver stopped to give her a milk bone. At first, she didn’t want anything to do with him or the truck but after she realized he had treats, she was more than happy. These types of stops could definitely help her with her fear of the large trucks!
October 17, 2020
Nine year old breeder momma Jessie is now in my home without any other animals, and seems to be content. She still wants all the attention you can possible give, nudging my hands as I write this update. Other than the walks, and investigating the smells in the yard, the day has been uneventful (as planned).She is a very good, calm walker who will stay right by your side, and only stop for smells sporadically. When we were walking around the neighborhood, we passed multiple group of other dogs across the street, and she barely gives them a glance, and only perks up a bit when dogs are barking from a house or behind a fence.Jessie chased the tennis ball a couple times but gave up rather quickly. I guess she hasn’t quite found the joy in that yet. She loves the stuffed squirrel that was sent her with and carries it around all over the house and makes sure she has it close to her before sleeping.
She slept in my downstairs area with the crate open but initially did not seem thrilled until I left the lights on. I suppose it makes sense being in a new place wanting to see what’s going on. She whined a bit and pawed the door but she hasn’t barked once. She loves to wedge herself into the small corner areas.She will sleep in the corner where my two couches meet so I moved a few things, and I will get another bed or blanket to put there, and move the end table for her. She has been on my couch but does seem to know when I tell her no and to get down I’ll work on being more consistent with that. So far all is good here.
October 16, 2020
Jessie’s first foster absolutely adored Jessie, but after a couple of days it was clear that she would be more comfortable as an only pet. Her fosters were devastated that she had to be moved because she has such a lovely personality, and snuggled up with them, and the boys all the time. When she is outdoors, and she sees a dog walking she is absolutely fine, and has no reaction. But after nine years of breeding and ten litters, Jessie is looking for some alone time with her people.
October 14, 2020
Jessie is an absolute sweetheart and loves attention. She puts her paw on our arms or hands for more petting. Meghan’s stuffed animals have become fast favorites.
Because she was a farm dog, we prepared the house with yoga mats in anticipation she would not like hardwood floors, we were wrong. She has no issues with hardwood floors or doorways. Another surprise was she went right upstairs on her leash for a shower and went downstairs without any problems. As expected, she needed a bath, well let me say several baths. I think she loved her spa services and was fantastic in our walk-in shower. She even jumped up on the shower bench, which shocked us. General household noises don’t phase her either. She gets very excited with the sound of crinkly bags; which I can only assume she associates with food. Jessie devoured the kibble and snuggled up with Ryan by the fireplace.
She just wants to be loved.
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