Nicholas Silver Labrador Retriever Male 8 Years Old ID #2994
Mar 21, 2022
Happy Spring! Nicholas back for another blog update. I’m doing great in my foster home! The changing of seasons has been a little bothersome to me, so FM took me to the vet over the weekend. The vet gave some eye drops to help with what they think are just some allergies causing my slightly goopy eyes. This weekend was really nice out though, so foster fam and I went on some long walks in the sunshine. Also I helped FM clean off the deck for some outside time on the patio furniture. I love being outside almost as much as I love snuggling.
FM keeps bringing up some sort of procedure I’ll have next week called neutering. I’m not sure what she means, but she said that I’ll be at the vet all day and FD will pick me up afterward because she will be at work that night. Hopefully, that doesn’t mean I have to wear that cone again, I was not a fan! But after that procedure, FM says I should be ready to go to my furever home!
Other than that, things are going pretty smoothly. I am a friend to everyone I meet (unless you are a new human, they are all still pretty scary for me). The vet staff was fighting over who was going to see me on Saturday which FM says proves that I am the sweetest boy. FM also says that she will update you after my neuter and that I should ask you all for some good Brookline mojo for everything to go smoothly and for me to heal quickly! Until next time, I’m gonna go on being a happy happy boy!
Feb 26, 2022
This is Heather, Nicholas’ foster mom, here with an update on his progress. He had two follow-ups with the regular vet and dermatologist this month. The vets did some bloodwork that showed that he still needs his kidney medication, but things appear to be steadily improving with most of his numbers. We are hopeful that with a slightly increased dose, Nicholas will have the medical intervention needed to support his kidney function. Nicholas’ dermatologist was impressed with his progress, especially with how much his fur has grown back. She confirmed that his infection has cleared up and he no longer needs to be on antibiotics! He does still need consistent ear cleanings to ensure the yeast has completely cleared from his right ear. Even after all the vet appointments, he still likes us enough to snuggle us constantly.
Everyone he encountered during his vet visits loved him and they all commented on what a sweet boy he is. We couldn’t agree more. Nicholas continues to be fairly scared of new places (including the vet offices) and benefited from FM or FD coming into the office with him. The poor guy started shaking when the vet tech tried to take him from the car. His forever home should continue to be mindful of all that he’s been through and continue to desensitize him to these less than fun experiences while being patient and loving since he needs a little extra support. He definitely relies on his humans to be his safety net when he’s away from his safe space at home.
Following a clean bill of health from the dermatologist, we are looking to schedule a neuter surgery and teeth cleaning post-checkup to ensure he’s a good candidate for both. Nicholas has been through a lot and has not received the best medical care up to this point so we are hopeful to get his teeth in order as we’re unsure if he’s been in pain for years due to some broken teeth.
Through it all, Nicholas continues to thrive, never let on that he could be experiencing discomfort, and really is the most affectionate and happy boy. He has become quite the lapdog too! We will update you once we know more about his surgeries and his future!
Feb 2, 2022
Nicholas here for another update! I’m still enjoying life as a pet! There’s not much to report other than I am waiting for some follow ups at the regular vet and dermatologist this month to make sure that I continue to be as healthy as I can be. I’m still the happiest boy and I love my (foster) humans, and my foster sis is pretty great too. We celebrated her birthday last week and FM got a birthday cake which we shared and it was delicious! At first we both didn’t know what to do because we had never eaten (doggie) cake before, but given a minute to investigate, we both dug in and I think that I can safely say that I like cake!
My FD continues to be my best pal and I do my best to be his office assistant while he works from home. I wish he would take more snuggle breaks during the day though, because I am a very good snuggler these days! I continue to need some encouragement with new situations and people, because I can still scare easily, so my furever family should be patient and understanding. It’s tough being on a farm for 8 straight years and then having to learn all of the new sights and sounds associated with living as a pet inside of a home. Sometimes it’s just scary and I need some extra love and time to adjust, but I’ve learned so much in the few months I’ve been with my foster family that they tell me there is nothing I can’t overcome!
I am enjoying the snow more these days now that I know we will go out and play, and then come inside and get warm again. I am loving my new coat and how it keeps me warmer as my fur continues to grow back. FM says that I am a real handsome guy- fur or no fur, but is glad to see a full back of fur growing in these days!
FM says she will check back in after I’ve had my appointments, so I think I am off to nap on the couch before bedtime!
Jan 16, 2022
Happy (Belated) New Year everyone!
I enjoyed my first ever Christmas celebration with my foster family. I had my first ever pup-achino and thought that it was delicious. I also really like trees that humans put into the house with lights. I’ve found that the lights make for a nice ambiance for naps. I got my first ever Christmas gift, which was a stuffed animal, and though I haven’t figured out how to make it squeak on my own, my foster sis is trying to teach me. Being a pet has been pretty great so far!
I am continuing to learn more about life inside of a house, and everyday I am learning to trust humans more and more. I continue to have a love of soft things and I love a good nap on my big dog bed or on the couch. I completely trust my foster parents and love to snuggle, especially my FD who is my person. I follow him everywhere he goes! I get a little upset when he leaves with my foster sister, so when FM is around we’ve been working on trying to stay calm and settle, knowing that FD and Ellie WILL come back. So far some deep pressure and treats have helped me stay calm with the most success. I have also taken on another role and learned to be a nurse after the holidays as both my foster parents were sick for a long time in dog time. Both FM and FD said I did such a great job being patient and flexible with being out of my daily routines. I slept and snuggled with the foster parents during their numerous naps to help them feel better, and it worked!
I am getting more independent and playful each day, but still defer to my foster sister for how to navigate new situations and people. She has been teaching me how to play at the dog park and trust more humans than my foster parents. Depending on how brave I’m feeling, I may even initiate a pet or two from humans I meet at the dog park, though I feel much more comfortable around my fellow dogs there. I have started to run around with new and old friends at the park and all of the humans I meet say that I am the sweetest, gentlest guy around.
Oh and I almost forgot- I’m now a stair master! I had little difficulty going up the stairs once I arrived to my foster home, but I figured it out pretty quickly. Going down however was another story completely. It was terrifying and I would pancake on the floor whenever FM and FD tried to coax me into the stairwell with some treats!! Unfortunately for me, our elevator was out for a few days for maintenance so my FD said that it was time to tackle my fears. At first, I straight out refused and put my butt on the ground and wouldn’t budge. FD had to hold on to my harness because I didn’t quite know how to move my legs the right way for the stairs, so he kept me from falling down them! I have slowly come around to the idea of the stairs and now I am a confident stair ascender and descender! FM says that I’m ready to take on the Eiffel Tower now!
My skin continues to improve and I am growing the most beautiful silver coat, but FM was worried that I might still be cold with all of the snow in the forecast so I have a coat coming in the mail to help me stay warm this winter- thank you Brookline! I continue to take my medications without issue and even wait for my ear drops before I’m fed dinner each night as I always get some love and am told I’m the best boy. I go back to the dermatologist in February to see how I’m doing with all of my medications and make sure that I’m healthy enough to get neutered, whatever that means, but I am looking forward to a hopefully clean bill of health.
Well, there’s snow in the forecast tonight, so I’m going to snuggle in with my humans and go to sleep.
Dec 20, 2021
Hello all, Nicholas here and boy have I had a busy couple of weeks. FM was excited to get my foster sis and I in the holiday spirit with new Christmas bows on our collars- thanks Aunt Dee! At first I was unsure with all of these decorations in the house, but I’m becoming quite fond of the Christmas tree. I’ve taken a nap or two in front of it with the lights on and I’ve been told by FM and our neighbors that I look quite dapper with my bow and my ever present smile. My foster parents say that I am the happiest boy now that I know what love is, and I’ve quite the penchant for snuggling. I am living up to my new nickname- Jolly St. Nicholas!
Now on to the not so fun medical updates. I went to the dermatologist and they found a nasty systemic infection that I had been battling and a double ear infection- ouch! They were also concerned about my skin, so they decided to biopsy some spots. I was pretty scared in this new environment, especially since my FM could not come back with me, but the vet tech said that I was a gentlemen throughout the entire process. I’ve got stitches on my back leg, my spine, and my flank, so the dermatologist wanted me to wear a cone for two whole weeks. But let me tell you, I DO NOT like the cone of shame and I was running into everything which made me upset and eventually I just stood facing the wall with my cone so I didn’t scare myself anymore. FM said that was enough (I only had the cone on for about an hour) and got me one of FD’s t-shirts to wear to cover up my stitches and I liked that much better. I’ve been great with leaving my stiches alone, taking all of my new meds, and even tolerating my ear drops, which I need to take twice a day. My foster parents tell me what a good boy I am each time since they know the ear drops are not my favorite (not as bad as the cone though!).
The biopsy results revealed Color Dilution Follicular Dysplasia, which just means I am a little more prone to infection. But I have been on antibiotics for several days now and I am feeling much better and the doctor thinks I will only need some topical treatments going forward. I have another appointment in February to follow up.
I also got to visit my foster-grandparents for Thanksgiving. Boy was that an experience. I am still quite unsure of people who aren’t FM & FD, but I loved exploring the foster-grandparents yard on my long leash. I am also getting to be a car pro! I’m not great at sharing the dog hammock with my foster sis, but otherwise I do pretty well.
I have also been busy meeting all our neighborhood dog friends! I sure do love seeing other dogs. FD says I need some work on leash training because I can be pretty stubborn about which way I want to go. We go to the dog park a lot and while I love to sniff other dogs and follow them around, I still don’t really get this whole “play” thing that everyone else does. I mostly just trot along behind just to be close to my puppy friends.
Well that’s enough for now. I’m going to go nap on the couch while FM does yoga. Have a Holly Jolly Christmas to those of you who celebrate
Nov 8, 2021
Heather back again for another update! Nicholas continues to improve each day with us and we can hardly believe all of the progress he has made in a little over a month! He is officially intestinal parasite and infection free as of yesterday per the vet. The vet tech (and several of our neighbors too) noted how much better he looks since she last saw him, which was great to hear. We think that he’s looking better but for someone who hasn’t seen him in a month to notice the same thing, made us so happy!
This boy has made so much progress with trusting us and settling in. His tail is constantly wagging, he smiles a lot, is sooooo excited for meal time, he initiates snuggles whenever anyone is nearby, and he greets me at the door when I arrive home from work looking for pets along with our resident dog, Ellie. It’s unbelievable that he’s only been with us for a bit over a month. He’s gone from a dog who doesn’t make eye contact in the corner, to a dog that is getting more confident every day and seeking out human interaction! Now that he’s more settled we’ve also started working on commands like sit and stay, which are a definite work in progress, but he so eagerly wants to please, so I’m sure that it won’t be long. It is so clear that he’s just wanted to be loved his whole life and now that he knows human love, he can’t get enough of it! While he’s not completely healed from previous trauma, we are making strides every day that sudden movements and loud noises don’t mean terrible things for Nicholas, humans are loving and caring and you can trust us, and meal time is the best time of the day.
Now that he’s medically cleared, we are going to look into scheduling a neuter and dermatology appointment to check out his skin issues. Silver labs can have skin issues, and like our last few silver fosters, Nicholas is fitting right in. His skin looks immensely better from the first day off of the farm. We are also giving him salmon oil, a well- balanced diet, and he’s received two baths with hypoallergenic shampoo, which I’m sure have contributed to the improvements. However, he still has sparse fur on his torso and he needs a full coat since winter is coming! Although I’m sure he will look fantastic in a winter doggie coat. Enjoy the videos I took this past week and we’ll update you all in a few weeks with continued progress for Nicholas!
Oct 24, 2021
Hello friends! Nicholas here, taking over the blog-o-sphere.
I have had quite an exciting couple of weeks. I am finally starting to settle in with FM & FD, and am beginning to explore the rest of the house. I also had my first experience sitting on the couch and I think I’m in love. I still don’t know what to do with these “beds” on the floor, but if they are as comfy as the couch maybe I’ll give them a try at some point.
I found a comfy spot on FD’s lap for my first couch experience, but I quickly became a seasoned pro. I do still have trouble getting up on my own sometimes, but that could be attributed to me still not being fully comfortable in the apartment. I’ve had a rough life before now so I am still quite uncertain and easily frightened back to my safe corner of the office.
While I’m still adjusting to life as a pet, I am also getting healthier by the day. My eye infection is gone and I am eating regularly and well now. I have to go back in 2 weeks for some more bloodwork to ensure everything is copacetic, but my fur is already starting to look better. I am a strong, happy boy once I know I can trust you. Our walks are a lot of fun, but I am still learning how to be on a leash. I am not as easily frightened anymore, but I do really love to see other dogs while out walking, which can sometimes lead to some pulling or refusal to walk if I really want to say hello.
I also got to meet my great-great grandson this weekend. FM said there was a big resemblance and put these two side by side comparisons up. Apparently Gibbs and I share happy faces and grumpy faces. I did really well with Gibbs and his foster siblings, Rubble and Floyd. FM thinks I will definitely need to be in a home with another dog, as these puppy friends helped me feel comfortable around the humans I met as well. I loved exploring the big yard at Gibbs’ foster home and would love to have a large yard for myself one day.
Well that’s enough for now, I’ve stayed up way past my nap time to write this update, so it is time for me to go lie down. See you all soon!
Oct 10, 2021
Hi all, Heather here!
Nicholas is making slow and steady strides in learning to trust people and learning what love is! We were able to take him to the vet last week (yay cancellation list!) and he was given a thorough wellness exam, bloodwork, and he’s now up to date on vaccinations! He wasn’t too thrilled with the experience and all of the poking and prodding, but was a gentle giant throughout the entire experience. This boy weighed in at 97 pounds and could stay at this weight, or gain just 1-2 more pounds. We were surprised to hear that he is almost at his target weight despite looking a bit undernourished (to us), which is mostly due to the contrast between his big barrel chest and his lack of fur on the back half of his body. Nicholas now has a medical regimen thanks in part to a double eye infection, some bumps that were bleeding, and an intestinal parasite, all of which can be easily fixed with some time and antibiotics. He has easily accepted the eye drops 3x per day and with a little yogurt on top of his food, he gobbles up his pills like a champ.
Nicholas continues to decompress. Previously, eating has been very scattered throughout the day, when no one is around or paying attention. This morning he ate almost all of his breakfast in one session and even took some bites with his foster parents walking around and in sight of his food bowl. Sounds associated with living in a house are also becoming less scary as we work to desensitize him to the dishwasher, washing machine, and even the vacuum this weekend. He is also starting to engage in eye contact (previously disengaged and did not want to bring any attention to himself), is showing an interest in dog toys (tennis balls), and is learning that human touch can be a positive thing. We can only assume this boy has experienced some not too positive interactions with humans. He is still unlearning the fear of any sounds or big movements from the humans in the house, but will still occasionally cower and run into his ‘nest’ in the back corner of the office. The office is his sanctuary, and while he is slowly showing interest in exploring more of our home, he only settles and sleeps in the office.
Nicholas has started to wag his tail when FM comes to greet him after work or first thing in the morning. He is also starting to smile with a big ‘ol cheesy grin when FM really amps up the energy and tells him what a good boy he is (picture/video to come, every time I tried to snap a photo, he returned to his nest). During scarier moments (dishwasher or vacuum running) he is also starting to seek out physical affection and is even nudging FD during work for pets. We are very encouraged by all of these developments and excited to see more now that he’s on the road to physical and emotional recovery!
Oct 1, 2021
Nicholas got his first bath today. The condition of his skin and fur from day one indicated that he desperately needed one, but we wanted to let him have a little bit of time to settle in before chucking him in the scary bathtub. As with most things for this poor guy right now, the trip to the bathroom and getting in the bathtub were both terrifying experiences, but he settled fairly well once he was in. His first instinct is still to pancake when we walk towards him, but he is seeking us out for comfort a little bit now.
All in all, Nicholas continues to improve and settle in to our home. He is eating and drinking regularly now, although he will cease both and retreat to his spot to lay down if you walk towards him while he eats. He clearly is not accustomed to any attention he receives being positive attention. Nicholas has also proven to be a stair genius. After one false start, he will now slink up the stairs no problem. We still aren’t comfortable walking down the stairs, but we are making progress. We have run into three dogs in the last 2 days while turning corners and he does so well. He stands a little straighter, wags his tail, and greets politely around other dogs like nothing in the world is wrong. He has not tried to hump any other dogs, has shown nothing but friendly interest, and has interacted with both males and females (none intact though).
He has claimed his spot in my office next to my whiteboard and the sliding glass door. He still prefers his corners and does not like to be in the center of the room, but he has begun exploring out of the office with me when I walk out to the kitchen or living room. We are headed to the vet tonight because FM was able to get us on the cancellations list and we skipped the line, so hopefully we’ll have some good updates next week.
September 30, 2021
Good news today! It took all day, but Nicholas is finally eating and drinking a little. He still prefers his corners and is quite skittish when approached, but he is slowly settling. He does fairly well on walks already, and even walks normally down the hall of our apartment building. I stepped on a leaf while we were walking and he attempted to bolt, so we still have quite a bit of settling to do. He has become more brave about exploring the rest of the apartment when we come back in from walks, but once he has settled back into the office, he pretty much stays there.
He has started to sleep a little easier while I am in the room with him, and he even let me put this blanket on him when I noticed him shivering. All in all, pretty big steps for this big boy.
September 29, 2021
Michael here. Nicholas isn’t quite ready to take over his own blog yet as he is still settling in. Nicholas arrived yesterday fresh from the farm, and will definitely need some time to get comfortable.
As you can see, this poor boy has had it rough and will definitely take a little time to settle in and feel comfortable. This will be our third silver with skin and fur issues, so we expect Nicholas to start looking a lot healthier now that he is in a better environment and will be receiving the love and care he needs. He is still very scared and does most of his moving in a slink, but he has been great about doing his business outside both last night and this morning without issue.
Given some space though, Nicholas will settle easily and has been adjusting to his new home. When we came back from our afternoon bathroom trip yesterday, he explored around the office, sniffing and checking in on things, which is huge compared to his initial hiding in a corner. He definitely still prefers corners where he can feel safe, as you can see from the photo below where he has tucked himself into the niche between his crate and his bed. He was warming up to us last night, and my wife got the first tail wag, but it will be a long journey for this sweet guy.
Nicholas was pretty slinky to start our morning walk, but after a while he did warm up a little and start walking a bit more normally as seen below. He is a big and strong boy, I would not be surprised if he is close to 100lbs when he gets healthy. We will be looking forward to keeping you all updated on his progress and hopefully soon, he’ll be comfortable enough to take over his own blog.
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