Molly Black Labrador Retriever Female 10 Years Old

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Between celebrating the holidays and the New Year, and FM having unexpected surgery to remove her gall bladder, the last couple months have passed quickly. Molly is still doing very well with FM, but she would really love to find her forever home! In a few weeks, on February 17th, she will turn 10 years old. What a great birthday gift it would be to get adopted and start the rest of her life with a person or family of her very own! Back in November, FM had just started giving Molly daily CBD oil to see if it would minimize, or reduce altogether, any new seizures. For approximately 6-weeks Molly did fine, but then on Friday, January 4th she had another one. This time, it was quite significant, and so after having her checked out by a neurologist, Molly started taking Phenobarbital. Two potential side effects from Phenobarbital are polydipsia (excessive thirst) and polyuria (excessive urination). Unfortunately, Molly is experiencing both of them, and her occasional leaking of urine became more significant. Although FM purchased washable doggy diapers for Molly, she knew it would be best if the leaking could be controlled, so the vet prescribed Proin for her. Conveniently, both the Phenobarbital and Proin are given twice per day, ideally 12 hours apart to control how much is in her bloodstream. Molly happily takes gobbles them up  in her bowl of kibble at 5 a.m. breakfast and again at 5 p.m. dinner. Molly has only been on Proin for 3-days at this point, so it’s a bit soon to say whether her leaking will be completely controlled, but we’re highly optimistic. Then FM can put those uncomfortable doggy diapers away! Molly will certainly be delighted! In an earlier post, FM wrote about Molly being a “toy hog” – a nice way of saying that she hoards and guards toys of all kinds – balls, bones, and stuffed items. She especially loves stuffed toys! Today, FM is very happy to report that Molly is completely reliable with the “drop it” and “leave it” commands when it comes to giving up balls, chew bones, and non dog-toy items that she may still occasionally pick up around the house, if she mistakes them for toys. You might need to give her a minute or so to process and follow the order, but she will obey. However, she can still be unpredictable when it comes to guarding stuffed toys. FM does allow her solo play-time with stuffed toys in order to continue working on improving her willingness to give them up on command. Although Molly has growled when one of FM’s other dogs approach when she’s got a stuffed toy, she’s never growled at FM, nor does she seem threatened by her presence when she is playing with stuffed toys. Nevertheless, FM would never reach to take one from her mouth! Molly will pick up as many toys as she can fit at one time in her mouth – which certainly looks cute – but could still be a problem if she is not ready to release, or drop them. She will circle away from FM and though she absolutely knows what drop it and leave it mean, she has not reached the point where she willingly and consistently obeys those commands regarding stuffed toys. Can you blame this poor girl, whose only toys before coming into Brookline were trash that she picked up in the house? Her owner was a hoarder. Molly is so happy when she plays with toys, but especially stuffed toys, that FM won’t deprive her of the joy! She is improving, and FM believes in time that she will learn to share all toys. Because of this behavior however, FM would not place her in a family with young children. Despite her ups and downs, Molly is the sweetest dog! She adores being with people and if she could, she would crawl right inside of you. She will lean against your leg, and look up at you adoringly. She is so excited when FM gets home from work on Tues-Wed-Thurs that she prances and dances around like a young foal fresh out of the barn. Molly knows basic commands – sit, down and off, and as previously stated, drop it and leave it. Like nearly all Labs, she will readily counter or table surf if given the chance, but has learned at FM’s house it is pointless since nothing edible is ever left out, so she rarely does it anymore. She does not get on the furniture – though with urging from FM she has jumped on the bed a few times. Mostly, Molly lies contentedly by the side of FM’s bed while she watches TV in the evening, or by FM’s desk when she’s on the computer, and when given the chance Molly will happily drape herself across FM’s lap when FM sits on the floor. She is quiet as a dormouse in her crate, rarely barking even when FM comes home, waiting patiently to be let out as soon as FM can get to her, Since Molly prefers to be with her person or people, she will intermittently and lightly whine, and even occasionally bark softly, if FM has to shut her in a room with the other dogs to go do something. She rarely barks outright – once in awhile she’ll join in if the other dogs start barking about something. The only time she barks loudly is when a visitor arrives, but she will quiet down once given some attention. Other than the medical issues she has faced while in foster care, Molly has by far been one of the easiest and most loving dogs that FM has ever fostered. She gets along well with all dogs (currently FM has the following sizes – 4 lb, 13 lb, 33 lb and 70 lb.) and she played very well with FM’s recently adopted foster Bullet – a male Lab from another rescue who is now 10 months old. Previously, with her original owner, Molly lived with cats, so they’re no problem either. She is gets into the car on her own, rides quietly, and behaves admirably at the vet both in the waiting and examining rooms. FM has taken her to get her nails clipped at the groomer, and Molly was patient and calm. She also walks pretty well on a front-clip harness once she gets going, is crate-trained and takes treats gently as long as you remind her by telling her “easy.” She’s got the longest legs that carry her wiry, slender body. She moves about quickly and excitedly like a young fawn exploring the world for the first time. When she looks at FM with her bright eyes or noses my hand with her adorable grey muzzle – FM’s heart melts. She was posted as available a while back and there was no interest at the time, possibly because she had the medical setbacks described here in the blog posts. FM urges everyone to look at this wonderful dog – even if it’s your second or third look – and seriously consider her. Molly will turn 10-years old on February 17th so times awasting for her to find a forever family of her own!

Friday, November 30, 2018

It’s been quite some time since Foster Mom (FM) has been able to update Molly’s blog, and so much has happened! In a nutshell: FM took Molly to the vet October 12th to have her staples removed from the incisions from her surgery just prior to her being surrendered to Brookline. Unfortunately her incisions re-opened and poor Molly had to undergo a 2nd surgery to re-close them. Thankfully, after 3 weeks of crate rest and meds, her incisions held and she is now fully recuperated with no restrictions on activity! Soon afterwards, we had her tested for a possible thyroid imbalance. Once again, we were thankful to receive her blood work results – the vet said she is within normal range and there is nothing further needed! Then, just as FM was getting ready to post her as available for adoption  a couple weeks ago, Molly had a seizure out of the clear blue, while relaxing with FM and the other dogs on a quiet Sunday morning. 2 days later, she had a very mild, short seizure early in the morning on her potty break outside, then a 3rd slightly longer one that same evening. Since then – nothing! At least no further seizures that have been witnessed by FM or anyone who lets Molly out when FM is not home. The vet who has been treating Molly since FM got her in early October recommends continued observation, and should she have any further seizures to time them, and preferably video them if possible. Should she have any more, or especially if she has more frequent ones, she should be seen by neurologist. In the meantime, we have started her on CBD oil for dogs, and hope that she has no further seizures. We have had to weigh the pros and cons of starting her on stronger meds like phenobarbital, which can affect the liver over time. Molly has great vitality, stamina, eats and drinks normally, sleeps well, and has a beautiful healthy, shiny coat – so for a nearly 10 year old senior, she is in great health overall and should bring some lucky family years of happiness and love! Aside from her health and wellness, she continues to shine as a super sweet, agreeable, friendly, affectionate and overall good girl! She does have one tendency that we have worked diligently to minimize, and with time she could overcome it entirely – and that is her rush to grab and hoard every toy – bones, balls, stuffed animals, tug toys, etc. – ANYTHING she considers a toy. At first she would not share them with the other dogs at all – not all that surprising really from a dog who lived with a hoarder and rarely got toys of her own! FM’s concern was for the safety of Molly and the other dogs in the house – FM’s own 3 dogs plus the other foster Bullet who is still young and not at all good at sharing either! Using re-direction technique and training her with the “drop it” and “leave it” commands, plus her own growing confidence that the toys will still be there after she goes outside to potty, or leaves a room, etc., Molly has become much better at not trying to stuff them all into her mouth, as well as with sharing toys. She needs ongoing and patient reinforcement of what she’s learned, but she has become much more relaxed and willing to share, and there have been absolutely no flare-ups of doggie tempers in recent weeks. FM would love to see Molly with a person or family who is willing and able to commit time to her, since the first 9 years of her life she was mostly crated and lived in less than ideal conditions. She is a truly gentle and affectionate girl – she loves, loves, loves getting petted, played with, walked – ANY human attention at all is like heaven for her! However, because she is not demanding, pushy, or impatient, if she does not get attention she won’t push too hard for it, and FM doesn’t want to see Molly settling into the background of her people’s life because they do not make time for her. She deserves so much more!!! And since she is a senior, FM would love to see her remaining years be filled with the attention, exercise, and affection she craves and deserves. Molly has great potential to be an ideal family member – a welcoming, fun pet who will love and adore her human(s) and bring great joy into their lives. Can you overlook an occasional accident in her crate when you need to leave her longer than the ideal maximum of 4 hours? Can you look the other way and blot a little urine from the floor or carpet if she leaks a bit once in awhile? Can you commit to walking Molly twice a day, unless the weather is horrible? (The walks need not be long or arduous – a stroll around the neighborhood will make her very happy!) Can you stop what you are doing now and then to play tug with her, pat her head, scratch her belly, brush her coat and tell her what a good girl she is – really love her? She will adore you in return, and be your best friend for life!

Tuesday, October 9

Molly has been with FM (Foster Mom) since last Friday afternoon and she has quickly settled into the household routines. FM no longer crates her at all! FM does keep her in her home office whenever she is out during the day, and that’s also where she sleeps at night. Her crate is still set-up in FM’s office and the gate is always open, however to FM’s knowledge she has not gone into it since FM stopped telling her to “go to bed.” She seemed so unhappy to be crated, so when FM tried leaving her out she found that Molly is totally trustworthy – no accidents, she is quiet, doesn’t get into things that are not her’s, and she manages the stairs accessing the 2nd floor of the house quite easily. FM’s dogs and Molly get along well, so sometime over this weekend FM will encourage her to sleep in her bedroom with the other dogs so she is not alone all night. However, FM doesn’t think she minds being alone, as long as she can be out of the crate! black labrador retriever in bandanna with toys

Monday, October 8

Molly is doing great! She has met FM’s (Foster Mom’s) dogs and other foster Bullet. She is fine with all of them, although FM does have to restrain Bullet with a Martingale collar so he does not jump all over her. She sure loves to play  – indoors and outside! This girl will be snatched up quickly because she has a great temperament, patient, listens well, is quiet as a mouse, housebroken and very loving. She will be available for adoption after she has had enough time to decompress and acclimate. She is also scheduled to get her staples out at the vet this coming Friday morning. Before being surrendered to Brookline, Molly had surgery to remove hygromas (fluid filled, callous-like sacs) that formed on her elbow and upper chest from being crated so many hours each day.

Sunday, October 7  

Molly. Molly. Molly! This girl is loving life outside her crate! black labrador retriever in bandanna with toy FM (Foster Mom) did not put her in her crate at all last night, and she was free in my office all day by herself, except when FM’s daughter came over to put all the dogs out midday. Molly had no accidents! No chewing or destroying anything. Just being a good, happy girl!

Eventually, once FM trusts her dogs and Molly together by themselves (if and when she does, of course), FM will leave them all together when she is out of the house like she did with another one of her Brookline fosters. (Remember Haley?) This girl is a gem! A diamond in the rough. Someone or some family will be very lucky to get this adorable dog!

Friday, October 5 – 3:30 p.m.

Molly is getting comfortable. She LOVES toys – balls, stuffies, bones – it does not matter! She picks up multiples at once and happily prances in circles. She loves belly rubs, (so far) won’t get on the couch in my office, goes into her crate and settles (albeit uncertainly) pretty well. It is FM’s (Foster Mom’s) understanding that Molly was left in her crate the majority of the day and night by her owner, who is a handicapped woman with a hoarding disorder.

FM plans to introduce Molly to her own dogs tomorrow, and then to Bullet on Sunday after her foster Ziggy leaves to join his new family, or possibly Monday if it’s too late on Sunday when she gets home. In the meantime, FM will take Molly out the front door and walk her for potty breaks and exercise.

Molly is sweet and so far at least, she seems quite content to be in FM’s office – with FM or without FM. Tonight and possibly tomorrow night, FM will sleep on her office couch to be near her. FM has found being close, but leaving fosters off and on for longer and longer periods, helps with bonding and building trust in the first 72 hours.

Friday, October 5 – 12:00 noonFM

FM met fellow Brookline volunteers Lisa and Dan, who helped with Molly’s transport at Flat Rock Park in Gladwyne, PA earlier today to pick-up 9-year old Molly, her newest foster for Brookline foster.

Don’t be fooled as FM was by this “old” girl’s grey muzzle! She is VERY strong and quite agile; much stronger than FM expected. Molly was being kept in a crate – other than potty breaks – nearly 24 hours a day. More on her story to come. Right now, we are home, and FM is getting her settled.

When she hopped out of Dan and Lisa’s truck on Friday and happily approached FM (treats helped with that) FM was instantly in love. After having Ziggy around for the last month, FM was instantly struck by how slender and slight in build Molly is – however, she really surprised FM – she is one STRONG girl! Looking at her, then taking the leash from Dan, FM was stunned by the power in her body. FM had brought a slip lead along, just in case, and was glad she did since the clip on the leash Molly came with kept coming off of her collar (After taking a closer look later, FM could see the hook was damaged.) Molly did great on the ride home – clipped to the safety harness, she happily settled on the back seat. Once we arrived home, FM took Molly for a short walk (err…pull) and she peed and pooped. FM’s understanding is that she was being walked several times a day; pretty much the only time she got out of the crate. After setting up her crate in FM’s home office, and pulling out some well-worn toys from FM’s own dogs, she worked at her computer while Molly sniffed around, played happily with some toys, and periodically came over for petting and assurance. She is a darling dog! Since she was crated so much with her owner, FM has allowed Molly to be out of the crate during the day, which obviously pleases her. Other than one accident on the rug the first day, she has been going outside to potty. FM has been slowly increasing the amount of time she is alone in her office out of the crate, and at this point Molly is good for several hours. She has not touched anything other than her toys (Brookline’s goody box arrived Saturday and she was deliriously happy with the new stuffies, balls, bones and treats!) and has not had any further accidents. She adores having toys – and tries to pick up and carry as many in her mouth as possible when it is time to go out for a walk or to the yard. FM has learned to put all but 1 item away just before taking her outside, otherwise it takes forever for her to gather the toys to try and carry them all with her! FM think it stresses her out to leave them behind! The first couple days Molly was so excited about EVERYTHING that she could not sit still, focus, listen or relax. Now that she has had some time to decompress and get used to all the new spaces, sights, smells, dogs, and FM – she is doing much better! FM knew from the dog evaluation that Molly knew a few basic commands – and now she is beginning to follow them. She is still very excited when FM interacts with her, but FM can tell she is settling into the routines here and gaining confidence. Molly was introduced to FM’s 3 dogs yesterday after Ziggy left, and she was absolutely fine, as were they. Today, FM will intro her to fellow foster Bullet, and though FM doubts they will have any problem with each other, we will take it slow because he can be so rough and rowdy. The next 3 days, FM will be out of the house all day at work, but FM believes Molly will be fine. FM plans to put her in her crate in the office for the first half of the day. Her own dogs will be loose to move between the office and bedroom as they wish. For the afternoon, FM will tell the dog sitter to leave Molly out of her crate but keep her in the office alone. Bullet must always be crated – either in my bedroom or the kitchen – when FM is not home. He is all puppy and still very much into chewing everything in sight! FM expects that by next week, Molly will be able to be out of her crate except at night time to sleep. First couple nights, FM slept in the office on the couch and Molly only needed to go out once around 2 am. Last night, FM slept in her bedroom with her dogs and Molly slept in the office in her crate through the night! She loves exploring and sniffing the yard! She hasn’t run around in abandon yet, but I am sure she will eventually. She is so funny exploring the house – she slowly moves through the rooms in a half crouch and kind of peeks into the next room before entering. FM think she smells dogs everywhere and expects them to pop up all over! She needs to have staples from her surgery removed – FM will be taking her to the vet this coming Friday.  She needs a blood test for Heartworm, and FM is also going to ask the vet to look at her teeth, which are quite brown. If it’s determined she needs something done, I will get a quote to submit to the board for approval. Otherwise, as far as we can tell so far, Molly is in very good health, spayed, and UTD on vaccinations.

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