Maggee Chocolate Labrador Retriever Female 1 Year Old
November 12, 2019
Maggee continues to fit into the pack of 5 other dogs so well that I have to remind myself at times that she is even here! When I have 5, 6 or more dogs in the house I tend to count them as they go out to potty, as they come in afterwards, and as they head upstairs to bed, just in case one of them lags behind so nobody gets left downstairs, or worse, outside. Maggee is not an early riser, and often in the morning when the rest of the dogs and I get up, I have to urge – sometimes even tempt her out of her crate with a treat! I know that the weather is getting colder, too. She loves her crate and goes into it without more than a “Go to bed, Maggee!” Yet getting her OUT of it sometimes necessitates a bribe! Hahaha!
She is not yet ready to have bedding in the crate. I tried again yesterday and she chewed the dog bed; not badly, but not worth risking her ingesting fabric or stuffing and getting an intestinal blockage. Even with a couple good dog bones to chew added in her crate, she still succumbed to boredom sometime during the day and ripped part of the bed, so for now, we will stick to the bare tray. She does not seem to mind it at all.
For the most part, Maggee is quiet. She will bark occasionally in the yard when foster Joey and my own dogs start barking at a neighbor’s dog, a car pulling into the driveway, or the occasional squirrel who forgets my yard is not “squirrel-friendly” due to all the dogs that are usually here. She quickly quiets down when told firmly, “Maggee, quiet!”
She is a very F-A-S-T gobbler of her food, so a slow feeder bowl is a must. Sometimes, I think that she and Joey are in a race to the finish, eyeing each other across the kitchen to see who is done first. Fortunately she is learning to “leave it” and has begun to respect the other dogs that are still eating, although she hovers nearby, just in case one of them accidentally leaves a piece of kibble in their bowl when they walk away. She’s happy to be on clean-up crew with Joey.
Maggee plays exceptionally well with Joey when it comes to tug and stuffed toys, however she does mildly guard bones and balls (but so does he!) so we are working on “drop it” and “leave it.” She is still mouthy taking treats, and has not yet learned to consistently keep 4-on-the-floor when there are treats being handed out. It will be necessary for an adoptive family to diligently watch her around other dogs when they are playing or being given treats, until she learns better impulse control. Practicing taking bones and toys away with a redirect will certainly help, as will time as she matures and gets comfortable and confident in a forever home. Regardless, I would NOT allow children under 11 to 13 years old (based on their being dog savvy) to offer her treats until her manners improve, and even older children need to use a flat-handed delivery, below her eye level and in front of her chest, while she is in a SIT! Each time, firmly repeat the command, “Maggee, gentle!” She is smart, and will become consistent with practice.
In the first few days here, Maggee had 2 pee accidents, each time when she came out of her crate and was on her way downstairs to go outside – I think the distance to the back door and it being a new environment confused her. Thereafter for a few days, I hooked her to a leash when I opened her crate and had her follow me straight down the stairs and outside, as I said, “Let’s go out, Maggee!” Since then she has been good!
She walks pretty well on a standard back-clip harness and leash, and shows no dog or people reactivity that I have witnessed. She will pull slightly if she sees another dog, but with a gentle correction, she is refocused on walking. I’ve only had her in the car 2 times, and each time she jumped in without hesitation, allowed me to hook her to the safety harness, and settled on the back seat comfortably. When we arrived at our destination, she waited patiently while I unhooked her to lead her out of the car on the leash.
Since Maggee is UTD, spayed and chipped and in great health, there’s nothing holding her back from being made available. I will be posting her as available in a few days.
November 5, 2019
I picked Maggee up late yesterday afternoon from a new foster house because this 1-year old pup was a bit too much for her sweet senior gal. I guess the stars aligned in my favor because I’d just been saying to fellow Brookline volunteer that I would welcome another young, energetic Brookline foster dog to keep Joey company!
It was late afternoon when I arrived home with Maggee. Normally, I would not introduce a new foster to my 3 resident dogs right off the bat – let alone also intro her to any other fosters! Unfortunately, time was short since I was going to work today and my friend Jerry would be letting the dogs out midday. Once again, the stars aligned (and my gut instincts about this well-balanced pup were correct). Maggee had absolutely no issues with my dogs and vice versa, or with Sunny! Introductions to all 4 females living in my house went off without a hitch before dark descended.
Maggee slept in a crate in my bedroom last night without a peep. Joey now sleeps in my bed with me and 2 of my resident dogs, Mitzi and Daisy – so he was well aware of Maggee’s presence in the crate at the foot of my bed. Yet, he made me very proud as he was well behaved all night and though he sniffed at the air around her crate which was covered, he obeyed my command to “leave it” and settled down next to me to sleep. Early this morning, before the sun came up, I again decided to trust my gut.
Joey is always very fixated on rushing right downstairs to be fed, so I decided to let Maggee out of her crate and we all descended as one pack. Every dog marched right out the kitchen door to the yard in the dark. Joey was alert to Maggee’s presence, as she was to his, but true to Lab nature, food was paramount. They barely paid each other any attention as they alertly watched me fix 6 bowls of food. After everyone ate, we went back out to the yard for another chance to potty, and then they all followed me back upstairs to my room and their respective beds and crates while I got ready to go to work. Piece of cake – just as if they’d all been doing this routine for years! Happy dance!
All the dogs were super excited when I came home from work this evening. After dinner, it was Joey and Maggee’s first extended period of time to get to know each other, and they were wonderful together. Maggee picked up a Brookline tug toy to entice Joey to play with her – and he happily accepted. They are so much alike in their energy as well as behavior that it’s like watching one dog in a mirror. They even play growl and roughly mouth each other the same way. However, this is where close monitoring is essential because their fun play can ramp up quickly and could get out of hand without intervention.
All-in-all, I would say that having Maggee join us was a win-win! Night two – and all the dogs are sleeping – and I’m ready to join them!
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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