Nora Black Labrador Retriever Mix Female 2 Years Old ID #2844

black labrador retriever mix

Nora is a 65 lb, two year old black Labrador retriever mix who was in a kill shelter in Mississippi as a stray.   She unfortunately had an embedded collar and was under weight when she was found.  Thanks to some dedicated volunteers in MS and PA, Nora was able to come North and is safe in a foster home.  Please read Nora’s blog from the bottom up to learn more about this sweet girl.

May 16, 2021

black labrador retriever mixIt’s been a busy couple of weeks around here.  We celebrated two birthdays and Mother’s day, and got our spring plantings done.  Nora loves her outside time, so she was great while we were busy doing our gardening.  We’ve discovered that Nora enjoys grabbing Dandelion seed heads aka”blowballs” on her walks, and also likes to catch all varieties of bugs, bees included!!  Luckily, she has only actually got a hold of one giant bee that didn’t sting her.  She has already caught a couple of flies that got in the house.  It’s great to have this expert fly catcher in the house!

Nora continues to enjoy her daily walks and playtime in the yard.  Now that its is getting warmer, she likes to cool off by relaxing on the tile floor or in a nice shady spot in the labrador retriever mix black labrador retriever mixShe also enjoys hanging out with us on the patio picking a comfy spot on her own chair or on the grass with my two resident labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mix black labrador retriever mix black labrador retriever mixNow that Nora has been getting a high quality diet, her coat is really filling in and looking super shiny, and she is actually turning more chocolate in labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixNora is also a very low shed dog which is great since my two resident dogs are super shedders!

May 3, 2021

black labrador retriever mixLife has quieted down now that Penny has been adopted, and we have all settled back into our old routine.  Nora loves a predictable routine and reminds me when it’s time for a walk, meal time or if she wants some one on one playtime.

Nora joined us on a five hour trip to our cottage in NH to do some early spring clean up before the black flies arrive.  She was great in the car with my two resident labs, and enjoyed watching everything go by the window.  She was interested in the water, but she didn’t think it was quite warm enough to take a dip after our hike up a mountain like my resident boys.

Nora loves to hang out and sunbathe when its warm.  When it gets too hot or she has been running around, she’ll dive into the cool grass under the trees and stretch out, and loves to get some belly rubs.

black labrador retriever mixNora still loves sticks, and happily supervises my husband when he is collecting sticks around the yard, or putting them in the fire pit to burn.  She will occasionally pull a stick out of the wheel barrow to “help”, and can’t believe we would want to toss them all in that pit!

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Nora continues to walk really well during our walks.  Since Penny’s departure, we do two, 45- 60 minute walks.  She usually likes to get outside a couple more times a day to play some fetch or play chase with me or my son or my resident dogs if they are willing.

black labrador retriever mixNora is very reliable inside the house and settles well on a dog bed when everyone is busy with work or school.  She is great at entertaining herself with a toy or chew or just taking a nap.

We continue to enjoy fostering Nora and helping her grow and learn, and hope that she can find her perfect adoptive family so we can continue to foster other rescue dogs in need!

April 19, 2021

black labrador retriever mixNora spent the day outside with us yesterday while we got started on cutting and splitting next year’s firewood.  She hung around our work area sunbathing,  looking for the best sticks, and digging in wet spots looking for worms.  She’s great about waiting around occupying herself until we are done with work.  Nora loves being outside, but is always ready to go inside for snuggles!

April 14, 2021

black labrador retriever mixNora is still waiting patiently for that special someone to come along.  Nora is looking for an active, dog experienced person or family to tag along with on walks, hikes, jogs or learn agility training.  She is treat (just plain kibble) motivated and learns new things very quickly.  Nora loves people, and likes to stick close to her special person.

black labrador retriever mixWhen well exercised, she settles well while her people are busy, or just relaxing on the couch.  Nora would love to be the center of attention as the only dog, but would do well with a young, very playful, non-possessive housemate who likes to play chase and wrestle outside in the yard.

April 6, 2021

black labrador retriever mix Nora had a visit from one of her puppies, Frankie, this weekend.  The adopters live close by and needed an overnight babysitter so we happily volunteered.

black labrador retriever mixFrankie has grown and is almost as big as Nora already.  Both Penny and Nora enjoyed seeing her.  Nora and Frankie had a great time playing in the yard playing chase and tug.

black labrador retriever mixEveryone was tired at the end of the day and had snuggles on the couch.

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March 28, 2021

black labrador retriever mixNora is finally ready to find her family.

black labrador retriever mixNora needs an outdoors loving family that enjoys having their furry friend tag along on their walks or hikes. Nora really enjoys playing in the yard with my 20 year old son. He’ll throw a toy for her and then chase her, and she zips around the yard with the biggest smile on her face as she out runs everyone (dog or human).

Nora is a cuddler, and likes to be near her people when they are relaxing or working inside. Nora is usually curled up on the couch next to me or laying along side of me with her head resting on me when I am relaxing on the couch. Nora loves to be loved and give out love. If you sit on the floor, Nora will lay in your lap, and roll on her back for belly rubs. When I am working, Nora will entertain herself with a toy or chew that she picks out, and settles on a dog bed next to me in the office or kitchen area.

black labrador retriever mixNora is very loyal, trustworthy, sweet, trainable, and food motivated. She takes treats gently and has a lot of love, licks and cuddling to give out. She was an excellent mother to her puppies, and really took good care of them. She enjoys hanging out with her people, and doesn’t like to be left alone for very long.

She has a persistent nature, so an experienced owner that has the time to devote to continue training and reinforcing good behaviors learned over the last 5 months in foster would be the best match. Nora has a good amount of energy to burn, and is her best self when she is well exercised.

Nora will alert bark at strangers inside the house, strange noises and things outside/inside that are out of place from the norm, but she is a big softy and warms up to people quickly, especially if kibble treats are handed out readily. It doesn’t take long until she is in a new visitors lap getting belly rubs.

black labrador retriever mixNora has been a great foster, and she is ready to find a new family to call all her own!

March 14, 2021

black labrador retriever mixNora is loving having Penny back.  They spend a lot of time together playing, expending plenty of energy running around together playing chase.


Nora is doing great listening to leave it when I need play time to stop. I have been teaching Nora “catch” which is a distraction game that I learned on a Puppyworks seminar for labrador retriever mixWhen Nora sees deer and squirrels she can become hyper focused on them and wants to chase them.  Now when I say “catch,” she turns to look at me to catch a piece of kibble and focuses on the game instead of the deer.  The game works on walks when we are passing another dog that is barking.  She  is more focused on finding the piece of kibble than worrying about the other labrador retriever mixNora and Penny like hanging out with each other and it’s funny to see a lot of Nora’s personality traits in labrador retriever mixThey both like looking out the window, stealing toys from each other, playing chase and keep away, hanging out with their people, snuggling up at night with their people, and eating ice!black labrador retriever mixIt will be quiet around here when they both go off to their forever homes!black labrador retriever mix

March 8, 2021

black labrador retriever mixNora’s vet visit on Friday, March 5 went well, and I was ready to make Nora available.  However, we took Penny (Nora’s pup- back into foster as her placement did not work out.  I’ve decided that I’m going to hold on to Nora a little longer so Penny can be with her Mama until they are both ready to be labrador retriever mixI think Nora is really enjoying having Penny back in the house.  The two of them play for hours both inside and out and are good at tiring each other out.

Penny is learning a lot from Nora, and my resident dogs, Jet and Max.  Nora is also doing great listening to “leave it” when I need to get them to settle down, or if Nora is trying to steal Penny’s toys/chews.  Penny is giving Nora a dose of her own medicine because Penny likes to steal Nora’s toys too, and doesn’t give up on getting her toy back when Mama steals it from her.  Nora never gets tired of playing with Penny.

Nora is a caring Mama and likes to snuggle up on the big dog bed with labrador retriever mix black labrador retriever mix black labrador retriever mixShe even lets Penny take the medium bed we got for Penny’s crate, while Nora curls up in the little cat bed when they were hanging out with me in the labrador retriever mixPenny is never far from Nora’s side.  I’m looking forward to seeing they interact for the time they can be together in our homeblack labrador retriever mix

February 25, 2021

black labrador retriever mixNora is inching her way to finally being posted as available!  She has an appointment on March 5 to remove a couple of dissolvable stitches from her surgery that didn’t dissolve.  The veterinarian said that she is a great patient, and will lay on her back with her head in his lap while he checks her out. Everyone that meets her says that she is a sweet girl.  Nora is a smart girl who is eager to please and very food driven.  Nora likes learning new things so I think with her natural instincts and physical abilities, she would be a great candidate to work on agility training or bird dog training.

Nora is very sociable and loves to be around her people and furry playmates.  She loves to play chase or tug with other dogs, and people.  She is not the best with retrieving and bringing something back.  When you throw her a toy, she will retrieve it but then run past you a full speed in hopes that a chase will ensue.  Nora always tries to get my two resident labs to chase her, and becomes somewhat of a pest after they are ready to stop playing.  Nora will paw at Max’s back, stand right in front of him and try to grab his front feet or pop him on the butt with her nose to get him annoyed enough to start chasing her again.  Nora does listen to “leave it” and will stop but she can be persistent without correction which can be annoying to other dogs.  Nora did well when she met my mom’s little Terrier mix, Jessie, and listened to “come” when Jessie had enough attention from Nora.

Nora would be best suited to a young, energetic furry friend that loves to play chase and wrestle for hours.  Nora likes to steal toys that anyone else is playing with so her furry friends should also be easy going and non-possessive with their toys, and give them up easily. Nora would be happy as an only dog as well as she loves just hanging around with her people chewing on a toy or bone, going for walks, relaxing on the couch, and running around the backyard exploring. If she was an only dog, she would also love socializing at doggie playgroups or doggie labrador retriever mixWhen Nora first arrived, we called her a wild child.  She had absolutely no doggie manners from living as a stray.  She has learned quite a lot of commands, but will still need continued reinforcement of what she has learned so far.  I always have her kibble handy to reward good behavior, and the go to correction for her occasional over exuberance of love towards dogs and people  is “ah, ah, leave it.”  She is great at sit, come and has been working on down and stay.

Nora does well having a daily routine, and knows when her people are coming and going.  When I leave for the gym in the morning, and my husband is working in his home office, Nora usually goes up in our bedroom and hangs out in the bed (sometimes with the company of one of my shoes that are never chewed.)  She looks forward to her walks, and usually comes and lets me know when it’s time to go.  When Nora first arrived, she would gently mouth my arm to get attention.  For the most part now, she will paw or nudge at me or put both feet in my lap if I’m sitting, if she needs something or wants to go out. Her mouthing isn’t completely gone, and still is a work in progress. It usually shows up when she is over excited to do or go somewhere, or you have been ignoring her nudges.

Nora is very good at entertaining herself and will grab toys and chews out of the toy box and settle on the floor or her dog bed.  We’ve recently discovered that she has a taste for eating parts off of the fabric dog toys.  She was playing with a squeaky monkey and chewed an arm off so supervision with soft toys is recommended. She loves it when we stuff a kong with treats and will work on getting the insides out by tossing it around and diligently licking. Marrow bones with a peanut butter filling are another labrador retriever mixNora is very attuned to her environment.  She loves to look out of the windows, especially at sunrise and sunset, scanning the yard for those pesky deers and labrador retriever mix black labrador retriever mixWhen she is outside, she will look up to the sky when she hears geese, vultures, and even song birds fly by.  On our regular walk, she always notices if something is different in her path and will walk tall with alert ears until we reach the offending bag, branch, trash barrel or car.  Nora always alerts us with a couple of barks, or whining when someone or something enters the yard, or house.  After I check it out with her, she always settles right down.

The best thing about Nora is the affection that she has for her people. Nora is a great companion, and loves to snuggle and give out kisses.  When the kids come in from school or work, Nora runs over to greet them. She does like to give hugs but listens well to “sit.”  Once she sits, the kids sit with her and she collapses in their lap for belly scratches.

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At night when we are ready to relax and watch TV, Nora snuggles up right next to me on the couch under a blanket. At night, she likes to snuggle in bed next to me under her own blanket and sleeps soundly all night.  She does have a great internal clock and makes sure she wakes me with a lick or a nudge exactly at 6am, give or take a couple of minutes, and stretches out on her back for morning belly rubs.  On the weekend, I can get her to go back to sleep with a few minutes of belly rubs so we can sleep in for a couple of extra hours.

black labrador retriever mix black labrador retriever mixNora has grown and changed so much in last four months, and I am so happy to have helped her along through her pregnancy, birth, puppy rearing, and training.  She is an energetic, playful, happy, friendly, smart, lovable and quirky girl who is just about ready to find her forever home.

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February 10, 2021

black labrador retriever mixOver the last few weeks, we have been training Nora to the invisible fence boundaries.  We have had great success so far!  Nora is focused on play when my resident dogs are outside with her and loves the big yard to play chase.  She is doing great with the “come” command and comes right over when I call her.  She is so focused on play time only, that initially, I had to walk her around the yard on leash when I needed her to do her business while my resident dogs were outside with her.  Recently, she has been good about listening to “leave it”, “go pee” when I want her to stop playing and do her business. Nora enjoys running in the big open space, and likes to have a playmate either human or canine to chase her. In the early morning, early evening and at night, I take Nora out on leash because we have a lot of deer that walk through the woods out back during those times, and I’m pretty sure she would still make chase if she saw them.  Nora would be super happy to have a young, laid back playmate that mirrors her energy level, and LOVES to play chase non-stop.  This Southern girl doesn’t seem to mind the snow at all!  She doesn’t like to roll around or sit in the snow like my resident labs but she has a ball running around in it.

Nora has been doing better with spending more time away from me by her own choosing.  When anyone comes home, she greets them, and loves it when her person sits on the floor and gives her lots of loving.

black labrador retriever mixLast night, she chose to go sleep in my son’s room with him and Jet and Max!  She did let out a bark at 4am, so I went and got her and she went back to sleep with us for a couple more hours.  I was so happy to see her branching out, and trying a new spot to sleep.  At night when we watch TV, she has sometimes been choosing to sit with my husband instead of me, or snuggled next to one of the kids.  In any spot, she likes to make herself comfy and snuggle up close and be covered with a blanket now that it is cold outside.  Unfortunately, I think we spoil this sweet girl a bit too much! After everything she has been through though I can’t help myself!

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Nora settles very well when I work in my office.  I can work for several hours before Nora gets up, and puts a paw on my lap to let me know it’s time to eat, to play or to go outside.

black labrador retriever mixShe usually grabs a bone or a toy to occupy herself when we first go in the office, until she is ready for a nap.  Nora is great when I try to take a bone away even when she is busy trying to lick the yummy middle out of it.

I’m hoping that Nora will be ready to go to her forever family soon.  This pretty girl has come a long way since she first arrived in our home as a pregnant, totally untrained stray.

February 6, 2021

black labrador retriever mixNora’s wounds have just about healed now and the swelling in her chest is going down but still not completely gone.  The area doesn’t bother her at all.  She is running, and playing as though nothing happened.  She continues to be a snuggle bug.  If she’s not snuggled under a blanket next to me then she is sitting with my husband or upstairs in my sons room hanging out with him.

black labrador retriever mixNora prefers being in the company of her people. She sits quietly on the dog bed when I’m working in my office, only getting up to alert me to visitors or ask to go out.  She will entertain herself with a toy or chew that she picks out herself and brings with her to her bed.  Nora is content to sit on my bed while I fold laundry and wait for me to finish.  She is always willing to keep me company no matter what I am doing.

black labrador retriever mixNora met a new playmate.  My son’s girlfriend just got a 4 month old Doberman puppy and they love playing with each other.  Their energy levels match, and they both want to play non-stop.  When I want play to stop, she will listen to “leave it.”  She is getting better with listening to my 9 year old resident labs cues when they are done playing but I do usually have to finalize play with a “leave it” command.  Nora also knows now that she needs to direct her play only with Max.  Jet enjoys playing referee only.  He will step in to separate Nora and Max if he thinks that Max is done playing and Nora is not co-operating.  Occasionally, he will try to give chase but Nora out runs Jet in a snap.  Nora loves to be chased and to chase after other dogs and people when she is outside, and is always egging the other dogs to give chase.  Inside, she has just about figured out that play needs to be a bit more subdued.  Occasionally, she will forget and start tearing around the kitchen table but I can redirect her with a “sit” and kibble treat.

January 24, 2021

black labrador retriever mixNora had her spay, and breast tissue removal on January 18.  All went well with the surgery.  The gland structure removed was highly cystic, and not typical of a true mammary tumor. A smaller nodule was also removed and was apparently abscessed, or infected. All but one of her other glands that had lumps previously have pretty much returned to normal which indicates the masses were labrador retriever mix

Unfortunately for Nora, despite resting all day and wearing a light compression wrap, she began to experience a lot of swelling in the gland removal area, and had to go back to the labrador retriever mixThe vet drained out some excess fluid and left the wound open to allow it to continue to drain out.  There is still a little swelling present but it is decreasing every day.  Hopefully, she will be all healed up soon.  The wound doesn’t seem to bother her at all.

black labrador retriever mixNora spent the week after surgery relaxing with her pups.  It was her last week for puppy snuggling and playing because all of Nora’s puppies went home with their adoptive families on January 22 and 23.  Nora did great meeting all of the adoptive families.  On Saturday, she met six different families in back to back appointments for puppy pickup.  She really liked all the petting and attention that she got from a wide range of people and ages.

black labrador retriever mixIt sure is quiet around the house, but I think Nora is enjoying all the one on one time with us now that the puppies are gone.  She especially enjoyed finally getting the puppies stuffed toys that have been off limits for 8 weeks.  Within five minutes, there was stuffing every where!!black labrador retriever mix

January 15, 2021

black labrador retriever mixNora completed her 10 day course of antibiotics but her mammary gland swelling did not resolve. The veterinarian believes that the presumption at this point is that the masses/swellings in question are likely to be a result of hormonal input. This is consistent with a lack of response to antibiotics despite demonstrated antibiotic sensitivity, lowering suspicion of infection, and acute appearance of the swellings.  The doctor thinks that the best path forward is to remove the mammary gland that is affected during her spay procedure.  The decision to pursue gland removal is in some part a decision of expediency as she would then not need to undergo multiple separate procedures if it turns out that the swellings do not resolve after her spay.  Nora is scheduled for her surgery on January 18 so I will update again after her procedure.

black labrador retriever mixRecently, Nora has been obsessed with the vultures that are roosting in our trees in the back yard.  Nora will come and let me know when they are in the yard and watches them through the window.  She really has a thing for birds of any kind.  When she goes out in the yard, she will scan the skies for them and alert to the trees they are roosting in.  She is naturally a birding dog, and has a fairly high prey drive for birds of any kind, as well as the resident deer that like to graze and stroll through the back yard.

black labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixNora’s pups are now seven weeks old.  They are adorable, fiesty, and entertaining to have in the house.  We have created a large gated area in the tiled foyer for them, as they were outgrowing the other space.

black labrador retriever mixThey have separate sleeping, eating, playing and toileting areas and a lot of space to run around and expend that puppy energy. I also take them out to have one on one time with Nora, and explore different areas of the house.  They are fun to watch tearing around the enclosure, chasing, barking, and playing with each other.

black labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixNora has a different relationship with different pups.  She knows the ones that want to play and the ones that just like to snuggle. The pups will be heading out to their new homes after their eight week vaccinations so we are giving her plenty of time with the pups before they go.

black labrador retriever mixIt will be quiet around here without this wonderful litter of pups. I’m lucky to have experienced such a wonderful birthday present from Nora! It’s been amazing to have been able to witness their birth, and help them grow into thriving, inquisitive, loving little pups.

Hopefully, Nora will recover quickly from her surgery so she too can find her perfect adoptive family!

January 6, 2021

black labrador retriever mixNora has been put on a different antibiotic now for ten days for her mastitis.  After five days on the first antibiotic, there really wasn’t any improvement, although it didn’t get worse.  I’m hoping that things improve soon for this girl so we can get her lumps assessed and spayed.  She continues to be unaffected by it, and is eating, drinking and playing well. A friend donated some puppy stuff, and Nora was a willing sweater model.

black labrador retriever mixNora continues to be an attentive Mama with her pups who will be six weeks old tomorrow.  I think she has a couple of favorites though in Sammy, Penny and Georgie.  All three love their one on one time with Nora, and have no problem with her play style, and actually give it right back to her.  Penny and Sammy are definitely the feistiest players with Nora.

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I have expanded their pen more so that they have a completely different potty area and sleeping/playing/eating area and all of them have been using the designated potty area pretty consistently.

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There is an occasional pee from the same culprits in the play area, but they all poop in the right spot.  I now have a door to separate the two spots for when I need to do a toileting clean up.  When one poops, they all like to run up and see what’s going on, and what I’m doing with the poop, so now I can close the door so I don’t have multiple little feet running through it!  We have been doing supervised roaming with the pups so that they can experience different textures like wood, tile and rubber matting.  They really love sprinting in the basement gym!

Nora has spurts of the “crazies” now that she isn’t pregnant anymore.  We have all hardwood floors, and running in the house is not allowed.  The “crazies” usually come on when someone talks to her in an excitable voice, or she discovers an exciting squeaky toy or if the resident dogs are getting excited about something, like a human coming home. Once she gets going, she thinks the people coming towards her want to play chase, and she was impossible to catch, all the while scribbling and scrabbling on the slippery wood floors.  My husband was not amused at all, especially when he was on a call for work.  Now, when it starts, I have been trying to distract her from the behavior by calling come, asking her to sit and then treating instead of going toward her.  We then try to get her outside to run and play or get her seated on her dog bed with a chew toy.  I want to teach her that running outside is good and fun, but in the house it’s better to sit and play with a chew toy.  I thinks she is starting to get it now, and the incidents of “crazies” in the house have declined significantly.

black labrador retriever mixNow that Nora has the pups in the house to protect, she does a lot more alert barking.  She will stand guard on the couch in the LR looking out the window or stand looking out the window in the DR for any suspicious characters.  She lets us know when anyone is walking by or coming into the driveway.  She also lets us know if the deer come into the yard.  Nora also will let you know if some sound or object is out of the norm.  Nora would make for a good guard dog as she always lets you know when someone is around her home or something is amiss!

Nora has picked up a new past time of stealing shoes.  She hasn’t chewed on any yet but loves to grab them and start the “crazies” game.  We have learned not  to engage in the chase, and I call her over and do an exchange for a treat.  I’m not sure if she has learned that the kibble treat is the end game as she is super smart so I might need to rethink my correction methods after she puts on a bit more weight.  Nora also has a love of cardboard and toilet paper.  She doesn’t eat them but does love to rip them both to shreds.  We are keeping both out of reach and she will drop them for a kibble treat.

black labrador retriever mixNora is improving with her interactions with my dogs.  Nora and Max will play outside but she still needs to learn when he has had enough.  Nora has unlimited energy when it comes to playing with another dog, and she is so happy when she is doing it, but she doesn’t listen or get cues from other dogs when they have had enough or are not in the mood to play.  I still think Nora would be happiest as an only dog with the undivided attention of her people, but with the right dog and a knowledgable and patient trainer, she would do well with another dog in the house.

Nora is for sure toilet trained and can go for 5-6 hours between going out to do her business. She will actually go to the front door and whine or come over to my desk and paw at me. Nora has free range in the house now and I am confident that when she is not in my view she is not potty-ing somewhere. She goes out in the yard when she wakes up, and then goes for a walk after her morning and afternoon meals.  Her toileting is very predictable.

black labrador retriever mixNora continues to be a big snuggler.  She curls up next to me on the couch and in bed and is a sound sleeper and doesn’t disturb me at all when I’m sleeping. She will definitely have to be in a home where couch snuggling, and bed surfing is allowed.  She just loves to be loved!

January 1, 2021

black labrador retriever mixNora is back on antibiotics for a week after her visit to the vet on December 30.  It seems like a different breast might have mastitis developing.  The breast is slightly enlarged in comparison to the other breasts, even though no breast feeding is going on.  The vet wanted to wait another 2-3 weeks to reassess the small lumps in some of her other breasts.  He wanted to give the mammary gland hyperplasia a chance to resolve on its own, now that Nora is no longer breast feeding and the pups are weaned and eating solids.

black labrador retriever mixNora really enjoys her time with the pups. After the pups eat their food in the office small pen, she usually jumps in the whelping box and does pup clean up and has some playtime with them.  I also do one on one playtime with each of the pups and Nora so she is not getting swamped by them all at once.

I do all the feedings in the small box, and they are really learning the feeding routine now.  They always come running when I call them to the eating area.  They have begun to chomp on dry kibble now as well.  I think I will be able to transition them to kibble only very soon.

I created a new play area for the pups in the main house using a big play pen so they have more space to romp and play. Nora can visit with the pups all during the day, and doesn’t need to ask to be let in the office. The pups are also being exposed to the sounds of daily life out in the main part of the house.

I change out the toys and put them in different spots so they can have varied stimuli throughout the day.  The pups are doing pretty good toileting on the pee pads that I have set up on one side of the large playpen.  When they wake up from a nap, the pups usually will walk over to the pads to do their business.

black labrador retriever mixThe pups are growing daily and some of them were over 7 lbs at their first vet appointment to get dewormed. When the pups first arrived, they could all fit in the round bed with room to spare.

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The bed is almost full now with only two pups!  It’s amazing how quickly they grow.

December 30, 2020

black labrador retriever mixNora was reunited with her puppies on December 23 after convalescing at a temporary foster home so her breast abscess could heal. Nora and her pups are having their 4 week postpartum check up at the vet this afternoon.  While Nora was under veterinary care for her abscess, they found another breast that had some lumps that need to be assessed now that her milk has dried up.

Nora continues to be a good Mama.  She will jump in the pen and clean all the pups after they eat their gruel.  As soon as they start to swarm and try to bite on her, she jumps right out.  She know that her breast feeding days are done.  Nora prefers to play one on one with the pups.

Sammy and Bianca especially like their time with Mama. All the pups run over to Nora when she comes over to the pen, and have started to try and jump out like Mama.  Nora will lay on the bed next to the pen, and hang her head over and play with the pups as well.  She is gentle with the pups, and is teaching them how to play.

December 17, 2020

black labrador retriever mixNora arrived to her temporary foster home on Monday, 12/14 after a 30 minute drive.  She relaxed on the dog bed the whole way.  All went smoothly with the introduction to 13 year old resident lab, Summer. After, I left she was a bit anxious and whining a little so they went out for a walk over to the kennel where Nora was super friendly.  FM made Nora feel right at home.

black labrador retriever mixAfter a long day, Nora had a nice nap on her new FM’s lap in the recliner.

black labrador retriever mixEveryday, Nora is settling in a little bit more and was reported to be doing well today.  Her wound still needs to heal further, but I am hopeful that she will be all healed up soon.

December 14, 2020

black labrador retriever mixWe have decided that it is in Nora’s best interest to move her to a temporary foster home while her wound heals so that her mammaries are not stimulated by the smell of the puppies in our home.  We tried to see if she would be able to stay here secluded away from her puppies, but she is getting stressed by not being able to see them.  Despite the seclusion from the pups, she is being stimulated, and she has started dripping some milk.  The doctor felt she would recover more quickly if the milk production was not stimulated.  If the would heals in 5-7 days as anticipated, and her milk dries up, we will be able to reunite her with her pups.  Nora’s temporary foster  is a great choice as she worked in veterinary care and can monitor Nora’s wound as it heals. I’m am so thankful that Brookline has such great volunteers that are always willing to help. We can hopefully reduce some of Nora’s stress while she recovers from her infection, and get her back to her pups!

December 13, 2020

black labrador retriever mixSo Nora has had one hard week…  On Monday, we noticed that Nora had a small lump on one of her breasts and made an appointment for her at the vet on Wednesday.  By Tuesday, her breast seemed more engorged than normal, but she wasn’t sensitive when the pups nursed.  By Wednesday, it was clear that she had mastitis. She didn’t want the puppies to nurse on that breast.  The vet prescribed antibiotic for her.  We thought we would see improvement but by Thursday evening, I noticed a  small yellowish bump on the underside of her breast while I was applying a warm compress.

We took her to the emergency vet, and it was determined that she had an abscess.  They admitted her for surgery to drain the abscess.  Unfortunately, when she was lifted to the surgical table the abscess burst.  They cleaned it up and put in a drain and felt she could go home.  After being at home for a couple of hours on Friday, another area of friable skin opened up and her drain lost suction. We quickly returned her to the emergency vet.  It was not clear at that point if Nora would have to have further surgery to remove her mammary tissue as the abscess was quite extensive. Nora remained at the vet so they could keep a close eye on her condition and was being treated with 2 different antibiotics.

black labrador retriever mixHappily, Nora was able to come home today as the vet was very pleased with the condition of her breast.  Swelling was down and she was in much better spirits and eating and drinking readily.  Currently, Nora has an open wound to allow the abscessed area to continue to drain instead of closing the friable skin and using a negative pressure suction drain.  The spot should heal in about five days if everything progresses as expected.  She has stitches from the incision they made to clean out the abscessed area that will need to be removed in two weeks.  At that time, another breast will have to be assessed because the ER vet found a couple of masses in it that he felt should be examined.  This poor lady can’t catch a break it seems.

black labrador retriever mixUnfortunately, Nora had to stop breast feeding the puppies so her breast tissue can recover.  We have to keep her separated from the puppies until her milk drys up so I have been bottle feeding the puppies since late Thursday night.  They all took to the bottle very well and are gaining weight at every weigh in.  They are all starting to play with each other and all have personalities of their own.  I hope to get the pups blogs ups this week if Nora continues to recover well.

December 4, 2020

black labrador retriever mixNora has been busy with her pups.  She has been doing a great job as a mama.  Feedings initially were non-stop but after 24 hours, Nora’s milk came in.  For the first 3-4 days, they continued to suckle often and have been growing everyday.

By the time they were four days old, the pups had grown so much that I had to take out the protective shelf.  If they tried to pile up under the shelf, there wasn’t enough room for two and that made them squeak.  I am amazed at how quickly these pups have grown.  They ranged in size on our first weigh in on 11/28 from 15 oz to 1lb 3oz.  Today, they ranged from 1lb 7oz to 1lb 12oz. The two smallest of the litter are the two boys at 1lb 7 1/8oz and 1lb 8 1/2oz.  All the girls are between 1lb 10oz – 1lb 12oz.

black labrador retriever mix
Big girl and small boy

Some of the pups have started to sit up on their front legs, and some have a shakey walk down.  These little pups are going to be running around before I know it.  It’s amazing to see the changes day to day.

For the last couple of days, Nora has been inclined to build nests in what ever part of the house she is in: on the dog bed in the kitchen, or the couch in the living room if there is a blanket on it. She even made one in my closet while she was waiting for me today. black labrador retriever mix

I put towels or small blankets in the whelping box. She likes to rearrange them before settling down to take care of the pups.  The pups also like to sleep on them.

black labrador retriever mixNora, however, prefers her nest on the mattress that I set up in the office so I could stay with the pups and Nora overnight, and only occasionally feeds them in the whelping box.  Most of her feedings take place on the mattress after she scratches the comforter into the perfect placement.  She seems to be very particular about her feeding nest but I guess that’s what makes her a good mama. I think the whelping box just doesn’t have enough cushioning for this pampered labrador retriever mix

Today was the first day that the pups went about 3-4 hours in between feedings, and the feedings are taking less time.  A funny thing is that I think Nora has trained me to bring her pups over to her when she is ready.  She sits in her nest on the mattress and stares at me and the babies like okay I’m ready for them.  She has a couple of teets that are sore from sharp little puppy nails so I try to help her out by putting the pups on the good ones. If one of the pups is too rough, she gets up and stops the feeding so I try to make sure she is comfortable. Nora decides when they are done, and gets up and leaves the nest after stimulating each one to do their business, and I put them back into their puppy crib, aka whelping box.

black labrador retriever mixI’ve been feeding Nora puppy food four times a day to keep her energy and milk supply up. The hardest part is getting her to drink enough water.  I’ve been putting water in her meals when she is feeding and I’ve been offering her water while she is feeding the pups.  It’s warm in the puppy room (80F) and 7 pups on the teet make her pant.  After Nora feeds her pups, I like to take her out for a walk or play time in the yard to give her some puppy free time.  Recently, her and Max have been play wrestling out in the yard.  As long as there are no stuffed animals around, Nora plays well with an energetic, non aggressive doggie friend.  Nora really seems to enjoy her play time with Max.  Her playmates need to be able to tolerate a high energy player.  She runs full speed towards her playmate and sometimes leaps over the top of them.

Now that the pups are out, Nora occasionally gets the zoomies inside the house.  She will grab a toy and tear around.  She’d probably love to run about a fenced yard with a person or alone with a toy.  She loves it when people chase her.  Inside the house is just not the place to do it.  LOL.  My son is home from college so he has been taking her out in the back yard for some leash time.  He can keep up with her sprint!

black labrador retriever mixWe have decided on most of the pups names so I will try to get up the blogs for each pup shortly!  I have so many pictures of these cute pups that its going to be hard to decide what to post!black labrador retriever mix

November 30, 2020

black labrador retriever mixWhen Nora first came to us, there was a possibility that she might be pregnant.  Nora had gone into heat while at the kill shelter in MS, and her pen mate was an intact male, named Frank.  Both Nora and Frank were pulled from the shelter by a volunteer, and continued on their separate labrador retriever mixI had Nora checked by the vet a couple of weeks after her arrival but he could not palpitate any pups.  We decided we would wait to have her spayed until we were sure she was carrying any pups or not. Based on her estimated heat date, we scheduled another visit for a recheck and x-rays on December 2.  As the days progressed, we noticed that Nora teets were growing and her belly was getting round.

black labrador retriever mixWe knew the rumors were true when we started to feel little kicks. Based on my reading that could mean Nora was further along than we thought. I was starting to think Nora might not make it to her x-ray date and started gathering whelping supplies, and asking around for a whelping box. On Wednesday, November 25, my daughter and I saw dripping milk. From what I’d learned that meant that the pups could come within 48 hours.  Still, I held out hope that this wasn’t the case. I thought we were going to have a couple more weeks and I wasn’t quite ready or set up to whelp.

During the day on Wednesday,  Nora was doing a lot of nesting activities and spending a lot of time in her crate. My son’s girlfriend is studying veterinary science at Rutgers, and works at a vet clinic, and has experienced whelping so I asked if she could spend the night with us just in case.  Boy was I glad that I did!  At 1:45am, Nora woke me up to go out.  When we came back in, she ran to her crate and started whimpering and shaking.  I knew this was it!  I called my daughter and then woke up my son’s girlfriend. At 2:06am early on Thanksgiving, and my own birthday, Nora gave birth to her first pup.  black labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixThe next five came in quick succession.  We got each pup to suckle, and gave a big sigh of relief that things went smoothly, and thought we were done.  Nora had one more surprise for us, and a little, final pup arrived at labrador retriever mixAs these pups were a little earlier than expected, the nursery was not set up yet.  We moved Nora’s crate into my office where its quiet and warm.  The first night, neither Nora or I got much sleep.  black labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixThe pups were hungry, and suckled often and the crate wasn’t the best setup for Nora to stretch out with her pups. By Friday her milk came in, and you could hear everyone gulping away.

black labrador retriever mixAlso on Friday, an awesome and generous follower of Brookline’s Facebook page offered to lend us her whelping box so the pups and Nora had more space to stretch out and feed the gang. Now the pups don’t need to have constant supervision anymore to keep them safe, and Nora can get some more free time when the pups are labrador retriever mixWe are weighing the pups twice a day and at each weigh in they are gaining so Nora is doing a great job at feeding them all.  They currently range in weight from 1 lb to 1 lb 6oz.  We have two boys, and five girls, and each one already have a personality of their own.

As long as no issues arise, we will be taking Nora and the pups for a check up in a month.  We are beyond excited to have these adorable, little newborns in the house.  The cuteness is overwhelming and those baby noises are heart melting.

Nora is doing a great job tending to her babies and is a trooper with all the feedings and stimulating them to go while eating.

black labrador retriever mix

black labrador retriever mix

black labrador retriever mixStay tuned for a new group blog for the puppies. When they get a little older, and we decide on names, I’ll get  a blog started for each pup.

November 24, 2020

black labrador retriever mix

Nora has been doing great with since I last checked in.  She definitely knows the morning routine, and after going out and getting her breakfast, settles into the dog bed or her crate without being told while we enjoy our morning coffee and catch up with the news.  After our morning walk, she easily goes into her crate for a few hours.

black labrador retriever mixNora has been doing really well interacting with the resident dogs, as long as they are not running around with a toy, and my resident boys have stopped reacting to her puppish antics. All is calm in the household, and she is getting a lot more freedom to explore on her labrador retriever mixJet is enjoying our lapse in allowing couch surfing since Nora arrived.  Nora really likes to snuggle with her people and it’s hard to deny that sweet face and warm body, now that the nights are getting chilly.

black labrador retriever mixNora loves to snuggle with everyone in the house, all laps are a welcome treat to labrador retriever mixNora seems to do really well meeting new people.  Initially, she will give a bark but once she knows the person is welcome, she enjoys interacting with everyone.  She doesn’t seem to be nervous around anyone after the first introduction, and enjoys getting lots of pets and labrador retriever mix


November 13, 2020

black labrador retriever mixNora has a very special skill.  She can open all cardboard box deliveries that you may get! Today, we got our Chewy dog food delivery, and in no time Nora opened the box for me.  My guys just stood back, and let her work.  They love to eat cardboard so they waited for the pieces she tore off.  They also were very thankful for this special skill.

Nora is doing great inside off leash.  She is settling in to our routine.  Today when I left the house, my husband was able to let her out of the crate while he worked from home with no issues.  My daughter is working on the command “down” with Nora.  Her reward is a kibble treat, and then her favorite belly rubs when she does it correctly.  I think she will become an expert with this command in no time.

Today was the first day that I let Nora go without a leash on our trip from our room to my resident dogs room, and then down to the front door to go outside.  We have been working on her excitement levels when she first sees my resident dogs in the morning.  Nora was still a bit excited, but didn’t jump on either dog, and listened to “leave it” and “sit” throughout the whole process.  This is a big achievement for this girl!  We’ve really been getting ready for this morning trip during the day when people come and go from the house.  All the dogs get excited when someone comes home, and Nora would jump on and nibble at my resident dogs in her own excitement.  My boys didn’t care for that.  She has been listening really well to “leave it” during the day so I felt she was ready for a morning greeting.  Nora did great!  She was easily redirected with the command and kibble, and there was no barking when my resident dogs went out the door. I’m looking forward to many more leash-less great starts to the day.

black labrador retriever mixEveryday, Nora is learning, and growing.  I’m so proud of her!

November 9, 2020

black labrador retriever mixNora has been getting a lot of off leash time in the house.  I’m pretty sure you can consider her potty trained now.  The whole time that she has been with us, Nora has only had two accidents which were early on, and a lapse on my part.  She doesn’t really signal when she has to go out, but she tends to wander over to the door.  When I see her gazing out the window, I bring her out and she does her business quickly.

Nora always settles very easily, and usually hangs out close by to me or anyone else that might be home when I am not, happily chewing on a toy, bone or napping.  When she’s up wandering, it’s my cue to take her out.  I usually take her out every couple of hours during the day, and I always take her for a walk after her two meals.  She’s great overnight and sleeps soundly from 9pm until labrador retriever mixNora is still working on her interactions with my resident dogs.  When she first sees them in the morning, or if they are in the yard chasing each other, she gets too over exuberant, and tries to put a paw on their backs, or nibbles at them, and barks.  It’s all just a bit too much for my laid back boys.  She does usually respond to a firm, “No, leave it” but during those times, I have her on a short leash.  When we are on walks, passing by other walking or barking dogs, she is great!  She doesn’t have any reactivity.  Times when she seems a little too interested in a passerby, she listens to “leave it” and watches me intently until I treat her for good passing.  Nora still isn’t the best at sharing, and when my resident dogs get interested in something, she runs over to take it from them.  They don’t react to her anymore, and drop whatever they have, and walk away but early on they had some heated arguments.  When she does this, I give her a firm “NO” and redirect her to another toy or chew. She is getting better but I still have to watch her to intervene when needed.  Nora would definitely be happiest as the only dog with all the toys to herself and the center of attention of all her labrador retriever mixNora doesn’t seem to need a ton of exercise.  She is happy with two to three 30 minute walks or one long (45-60 minutes) walk in the morning and an afternoon walk (30 minutes).

She would probably love a fenced in yard that she could run around in and I think she would train easily to an electric fence.  She does love to chase critters so I don’t think she’d be the best off leash labrador retriever mixNora is very easy going when it comes to checking her ears, eyes, mouth and feet.  We have brushed her teeth and cleaned her ears without any issues except that she wanted to eat the finger brush.  My daughter was filing her nails and Nora was curious and laid down next to her to check out what was going on.  Nora even let my daughter file her nails too!black labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixWhen I am home, Nora tends to be by my side.  She is learning that I’m not always doing something interesting, and stays in her bed enjoying a toy or napping when I move from room to room now.  Nora does well in her crate, only occasionally complaining when she is put in the crate out of her normal routine.  She goes in her crate sometimes without us asking her to, and plays with a toy or bone in there.  When I am out but other people are home, she will hang out with them, and goes into her crate easily when my daughters or husband need to leave her alone.

black labrador retriever mixWe are enjoying having this snuggle bug, and I love to see her growing and learning how to be a great labrador retriever mix

November 2, 2020

black labrador retriever mixNora joined me on Halloween for a Trunk N’ Treat event at my gym.  She was so well behaved seeing all the different aged kids at the event, and she was a big hit with the parents as well.

black labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixSeveral people stopped to talk to us, and wanted to know more about Brookline.  We even met a family who adopted a lab mix through Brookline recently, and talked to me about fostering.

black labrador retriever mixNora also met several dogs and even a pony! Her favorite part of the day was all the belly rubs that she got from the trick or treaters.

black labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixNora was a good sport when my daughter thought Nora should wear a costume too!

black labrador retriever mixNora continues to learn, and get better at all the good doggy rules, and absolutely loves her snuggle time!

black labrador retriever mix

October 29, 2020

black labrador retriever mixWhat a rainy week we have had, and Nora is not a big fan when we go out in our walks for it.  This girl would rather be inside snuggled up under a blanket with someone.  When I bring her out in the rain, she does her business, and hightails it right back inside.

black labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixHer favorite time of the day is when dinner is over, and she get to curl up on her bed getting belly scratches, or relaxing with someone on the couch. Although, I think her very most favorite thing is when she gets to snuggle up all night in bed. Apart from the head on your shoulder, you’d never know she was there.

black labrador retriever mixNora is definitely a bird dog! I think with some training, she would be great at flushing out pheasants.  We have chickens in the neighborhood, and lots of bird visitors, and she gets so excited when she sees or smells them.  She is quick to sniff out any stray feathers that get left behind from pruning or a hawks dinner, and you should see that tail wag.  She is so happy when she finds them.  The turkey toy was an instant hit for her, so much so that I can only give her that toy squeaker or no squeaker when she is alone.  She is fine with my resident dogs with a multitude of other toys, and bones but when turkey is around, she can’t control herself, and wants turkey to herself.  I have not been giving out any toys that squeak unless they are alone, and that seems to have resolved any issues between the three dogs.

black labrador retriever mixNora doesn’t seem to need a ton of playtime.  She is done with playing after about 5-10 minutes of tug or chewing on the toy by herself if you toss it occasionally for her.  I gave her a squeaky ball outside, and she liked it when I bounced it high, and she could jump in the air for it, and chase it. I taught her how to bring it back and “drop it” very quickly with kibble treats.  I was impressed with how fast she learned, but again she was done playing with the ball after about 10 minutes and was looking to go back inside.

Nora has been doing great at breakfast and dinner. Both with dog and human feeding times.  LOL. We have been able to eat two dinners in a row without having to crate Nora.  This is such a big accomplishment for her because when she first arrived she could not control herself.  She jumped up on you if you were carrying any sort of food item or drink, and jumped up on any counter or table to see what you had.  Now, she sits or lays in her bed, or on the carpet, and doesn’t beg/jump for the food.  I’ve been treating her with kibble for sitting or laying down nicely, and after a couple of pieces, we are able to eat in peace while she is relaxed.

black labrador retriever mixNora has still been doing great in the crate with little complaining, and settles very easily while she is waiting for me.  She does stick around me, but that might also be a learned behavior.  While we have been potty training and settling her in to inside living,  she is always with me on leash when she is not on the crate, and she gets lots of good behavior kibble treats.  As I am more confident now with the potty training and her inside behavior, I let her investigate while dragging the leash.  She will go and see other people  when they are home, but then does come back to find me.  When I am working in my office or the kitchen, she settles in any comfortable spot.  She seems to really like the cat bed in the office, and the carpet in the labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixNora, even though she is estimated to be about 2 years old, still has a lot of puppy behaviors.  She will pick up shoes, and clothes, and digs in the bathroom trash can for paper.  However, she does respond to an “ah ah, drop it” very well.  I usually redirect her attention to a toy, and give her a piece of kibble.  She also has excitable play with my resident dogs like running at them, and slapping them with her paws and nibbling at their faces or legs when she first sees them in the morning which they are not a fan of as 9 year olds.  She doesn’t listen well to their grumbling corrections so I usually have to redirect her, and take her away from them on the leash.

When Nora wants a belly rub, she rolls her head then body into your lap, and mouths your hand or arm until you start the petting.  It’s sort of cute but I’ve been stuffing a toy in her mouth instead or giving an “ah ah, drop it” before starting any rubs.  She’s been doing less of the mouthing, and more head rubbing now so she is learning.

I am happy with how much Nora has learned in less than two weeks.  She is going to be a great companion. She really just loves to be loved.

October 26, 2020

black labrador retriever mixNora is doing great with her potty training.  I’m pretty sure she has got the concept now.  I got awoken this morning to a lick on the nose at 4am.  I took Nora out and she did her business as soon as she stepped out on to the walkway!  I guess she really had to go but held it until we were outside of the house.  Nora’s favorite playtime activity is tug, and she likes it when we chase after her.  She tears around, and around in circles and runs by you at top speed, but sometimes she will leap in the air right as she is going past you and crash into your body.  I’m working on stopping the jump, and crash by redirecting her with a toy that I toss just as she getting ready to fly up.  I think because of a knock down factor with her play, Nora would do best with older kids in the family.

Nora is still having issues with high value squeaky toys when my resident dogs are around.  Last night, she had an incident with Max when they each had their own exact same toy but she wanted his toy as well.  I think Nora would be happiest in a home without any other pets, so that she can have all the toys to herself without having to worry about sharing.  Going forward, Max and Nora will only have access to squeaky toys while they are alone in separate rooms or Nora is in her crate with her favorite squeaky.  I don’t want anyone to be stressed out with the toys since they are supposed to be fun and stress relieving.  She has no problem sharing her toys with people, and I am working on “drop it.”

black labrador retriever mixNora is coming along with her good doggie training!  Sunday morning, my husband and I were able to eat breakfast unbothered as Nora laid on her bed instead of the crate.  Such a good girl!  Nora responds to her name, sit, come and my “ah ah” when she tries to jump up on the counter or if she grabs a shoe that out. Nora will occasionally go in her crate without being asked and relax.  She always hops right in the crate with treats when I need her to, and it doesn’t take her long to settle down.  She goes in her crate several times a day everyday for a few hours with no problems.


October 23, 2020

black labrador retriever mixNora has been with us for a week now, and she seems to be adapting well to inside life.  I was hoping that Nora would be a new running partner,  but she seems to prefer walking over running when we go out, and would much prefer to be inside then outside.  As soon as she does her business, she wants to head straight back in the house.  Though, Nora enjoys walks, and running around the yard with a toy, she does not need a lot of exercise before she tires labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixHer favorite past time is snuggling with people.  When she isn’t playing with a toy inside, she just wants to snuggle. Belly rubs are her favorite and she will climb in your lap and roll over to get some.  black labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixAs soon as she lays her head in your lap, she takes a big sigh and falls right to sleep. Even though Nora is young, she does settle down nicely both in, and out of her crate.  Yesterday, she went in her crate by herself, and laid down for a few minutes.  Nora would be the perfect snuggle partner for someone who likes to read on a comfy dog friendly couch or watch Netflix and chill.

black labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixShe is getting a lot more off-leash time inside now without incident.  A few days ago, she did pee inside before I got her outside after waking up.  I don’t blame Nora for that one because I was talking to her on our way out the door, and I stopped and said “let me grab my sweatshirt before you go pee” and she heard pee and did it!  She always pees on command outside so I can’t really blame her for letting it go.

Nora found another stuffy, hedgehog, that she likes just as much as turkey.  She loves to toss hedgehog high up in the air and catch him again. She still is a bit bossy with her toys and will push my resident dogs out of the way to get at her favorite toy before they do.  We are working on her sharing skills so hopefully she gets better at this.

She is still very food oriented ,and has quickly learned her name, sit, come, down, and leave it.

She still gets very excited with the smells of human food, but when I am cooking and doing food prep, she is listening very well to sit and is not counter jumping even when there is something delicious on there.

When we are eating, she is in the same room with us but in her crate until we are done.

Nora seems to have a high prey drive with the Guinea fowl, and really wants to get out to see him, and will run from room to room to find the best vantage point.  We see tons of squirrels on our daily walks, and she now pretty much ignores them.  She saw our foster cat through a glass door last night, and barked and really wanted to get in to see her.  She did respond to “leave it” but when she was off-leash this morning, she went right to the door to see if she could see the cat.  We will not do a meet and greet with the cat until Nora’s training is more advanced, and she is more easily redirected.

Today, we took a long walk at the state park again.  It was busy and we passed by many people, dogs and even some horses.  She went by everyone without making a peep or pull.  She is a great walking companion, and trots along at an easy to manage pace.

We are enjoying having this snuggle bug in the house, and I’m confident that she is going to have all her good doggie manners down in no time!

October 20, 2020

black labrador retriever mixOver the last couple of days, I have learned that Nora is a very smart girl, and a quick learner and very eager to please!!  When Nora first arrived, she needed to be crated when there was food prep going on.  She would jump right up on the counter to see what delightful yummy food was there, and try to snatch it up.  She was very persistent, so initially it was in everyone’s best interest to crate her to save her from herself, and not reward the bad doggie behavior.  Because Nora was a stray, she probably has quite a bit of food insecurity. Food is all encompassing, especially since her body needs to put on some weight. I have been spending a lot of time rewarding her sit, and she is now an expert at it, and I am pleased to say my hard work has paid off.  I did not need to crate her when I was getting the coffee ready, or eating my breakfast today.  I even cooked raw ground beef, and she didn’t put a paw on the counter at all!!  It was a very proud foster Momma moment for me.

I have been taking Nora and my two resident labs on 30 minute walks in the morning, and then I take her for an additional 15 minute slow run. She goes for another after dinner, and gets lots of long leash playtime outside when we get the opportunity.

She loves to run around the yard on the long leash at full speed with a toy in her mouth to try, and get my guys to play. I think they might be a bit too old and grumpy to enjoy chase now, or they don’t quite trust her because she was a bit bossy with toys at first.   This girl is fast!!

I have to sprint after her holding the leash so the leash doesn’t pull her to a sharp stop.  I’m trying to convince my husband that it would be a great idea to put up a solid fence around our 4 acres out back instead of the electric fence but he’s not going for it!!  Good thing I work out so I can let this energetic girl get some sprinting out. Nora is a great on leash walker, and usually stays close by with a loose leash. She doesn’t have any issues walking by other dogs.  She does however love all sorts of critters, and will pull on the leash when she sees squirrels, deer, and geese.  She was especially excited to see our resident wild Guinea fowl today.

black labrador retriever mixThis girl showed off her smarts again during her encounter with Mr. Guinea.  He was walking around our back patio looking for some treats that my girls leave out for him when Max (my lab) saw him and sent him flying up to our second floor balcony railing.  I had Nora out on the leash when Max gave chase, and she saw where Mr Guinea settled.  When I took her inside, she stood by the back door looking up and then ran upstairs to the room with said balcony to take a closer look.

black labrador retriever mixNora is doing great in the crate.  Nora goes in the crate with kibble, and only initially complains, and then settles down quietly.  A benefit of all the exercise, and playtime outside that I mentioned earlier is that Nora is ready for some sleep when she gets in the crate. She was in the crate today for two hours while I was out. My husband said she didn’t make a peep while he was working from his home office.  When I am home, I keep her on leash so I always have an eye on her until I know she is totally house trained.  She is doing great with the training, and I gave her a bit more freedom today in rooms without carpets, and I also feel comfortable not taking her out every hour. I am starting to learn her cues when she has to go, and we have been going longer in between bathroom breaks today.  We’ve been working on some more commands on the long leash outside as well.  She’s starting to recognize her name now and also “come”.  Next up will be “stay.”  When she has that command down, I’ll let her stay out of the cage when we are eating the family dinner, and scooping dog food into the dog bowls.

black labrador retriever mixNora continues to love her snuggles.  My husband scooped her up for a bit of loving last night and she was in heaven.  If you sit on the floor, she comes into your lap, and rolls on her back for belly rubs. She actually fell asleep this morning in my lap on her back as I was putting on my shoes! Nora sleeps all night and loves snuggling in bed.  During the day,  she is great at settling anywhere (she even settles on the cat mat in my office) but she especially likes the dog bed near her people.

black labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixI am amazed with how quickly this stray is settling into suburban house living.  Nora is full of love and eager to learn about the world especially if you have kibble to feed that hungry belly!

October 18, 2020

We got up early today at 6am when my daughter headed out to work.  Nora did her business, and wanted to come right back inside.  Everyone ate their breakfast, and we went out again after few minutes, and Nora completed her business and again wanted to come right back inside.  She played with some toys on leash while I made some coffee.  She was startled by the sound of the coffee maker so I took her over to investigate.  Nora didn’t seem concerned after I let her check it out, and later quickly settled on her bed while I drank my coffee.

I crated Nora while I made breakfast.  She was a bit more vocal about being in there than the night before, but settled after a few minutes of ignoring her.  After breakfast, we took Nora on her first walk in the state park.  Nora walked all four miles like a champ.  We passed several dogs and a couple of horses and a lot of other walkers.  Nora would wag her tail as each new person approached, but continued passed each one nicely.She was a bit unsure of the horses but was brave enough to go past them.  She passed by all the others dogs that we encountered without incident.  Nora looked at the other dogs but had great manners passing by even when my resident labs barked at a little dog that was yapping at them.  Nora did not pull on the leash during the walk and checked up with me labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixNora seems to be settling nicely.  She is a very friendly, sweet girl who likes everyone that she meets.  She is still navigating the strange world of a “home” like a puppy.  Sounds that come out of coffee pots, dishwashers, iphones and TV’s sometimes elicit a startled bark but as soon as she is allowed to investigate where it is coming from, Nora settles right down.  We are easing her in to independent off leash time inside to ensure that there are no accidents inside the house.  I think she will find her independence quickly as she is a fast learner and very eager to please and get her hugs.  Like a puppy, she wants to crawl into your lap and just be held and loved.  As of 3pm today as I write this, Nora has still been accident free inside the house!  Keep up the good work Nora!

October 17, 2020

black labrador retriever mixWe picked up Nora today from her transport from Mississippi.  She started the journey North along with a van full of other dogs on Thursday, October 15.  Even after her long, and most likely noisy and scary journey, she had nothing but love to give me at first sight.  We had heard that she was a hugger, and this did not prove false.  She stood up and wrapped her paws around me.  She was ready to hop in the back of the truck and start her hour long trip back to our labrador retriever mixOnce we got home, we introduced Nora to our two resident dogs, Jet and Max.  We introduced them one at a time, and the meetings went well.  I gave Nora lunch which she thoroughly enjoyed, and then took her on a 30 minute walk so she could expend a some energy after sitting for two days in the transport van.

When we got back, she explored the yard with Jet and Max, and found Max’s stuffed Turkey that she instantly fell in love with.  We found that she has a bit of a guarding issue with the turkey but she is learning that there are plenty of toys, and is starting to relax when Jet and Max are close to her when she has a toy, and reassured with kibble.  I’m sure as a stray, she didn’t come across such a fantastic thing as a squeaky stuffed turkey!

My daughter and I started working on her sit right away.  Hugs are great every now and then, but sitting politely when you first meet someone is a must in my dog rule book.  After about 10 minutes, Nora understood the sit command, and waited patiently to get her kibble reward instead of leaping into the air, and throwing her paws around us.

I’m glad she is both smart, and food motivated since she has quite a lot to learn.  I think being skinny is a good thing since she has a puppy mentality in the body of a two year old, and I think I am going to go through a good amount of kibble for her to learn all the “good doggie” labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixWhen we brought her inside for the first time, it was obvious that it was probably her first time stepping inside a house.  I led her inside on leash, and she was tentative and unsure.  It took some encouragement to get her to come up the three stairs, but she did it.  As I don’t know if she is potty trained, I kept her on leash inside while she explored the house.  She navigated a whole flight of stairs both up and down a few times while she was checking everything out.  When it came time to cook dinner, I enticed Nora into the crate with kibble.  She complained at first but then settled down while we labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixAfter dinner, we moved into the family room and Nora settled quickly on a dog bed, and fell asleep after her busy day. I decided to stay with her down stairs for her first night.  I kept her on leash while we both slept so I would know if she woke and needed to go out in the middle of the labrador retriever mixblack labrador retriever mixNora slept soundly on her dog bed, and only woke up when my resident dogs started whining to go out at 3am (most likely due to extra kibble when they were good boys with Nora, LOL).  While inside, I made sure I took her out often for potty breaks.  She did not have any accidents inside the house all day or overnight!  Good girl, Nora!!

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