Harper Black Labrador Retriever Female 5-6 Years Old ID #2964

Meet Harper, who just made the long journey up from Mississippi to her foster home in Pennsylvania.  Harper is one of many dogs in the south that was found as a stray, and no one came looking for her.  It’s hard to believe as she is the sweetest girl and has a wonderful temperament.  Stay tuned for updates as she settles in.


January 8, 2022

Harper has been here all of 4 hours, but she is doing really well.   She was lucky to be with a foster in Mississippi who was able to keep her inside, so she is already house trained!  We’ve discovered that she loves toys, and she has had her nose in the doggie toy box several times, choosing things to play with.  So far her favorite is the pink pig.  It’s a got a good squeakie in it, so we’ll see if she is one of those labs that likes to remove them!

Introductions to the resident dogs went well, although she did let our goofy male know that he was being a bit too forward with a verbal correction or two.  That’s all it took though and all four are getting along well.

We’ve had some short walks- and she does need some leash work- but she’s had a big day (or should I say a big two and half days) and already had a few naps.  I’m hoping that she also has a good sleep tonight.

January 9, 2022

We had a great night.  Harper was decidedly not interested in going up the stairs when it came time to go to bed, but she wasn’t about to be left behind either.  So with some help in getting her started, she made it.  Coming down the stairs this morning took a ton of coaxing and help, but thankfully for our backs, she has since followed us up and down the stairs a few times without any help.  She’s a smart girl.

Harper came to us house trained (yay!) and she is only chewing things that she’s allowed to.  She thought one of the stuffed pig’s ears needed a trim, but otherwise she has treated it and other toys well. She is following me everywhere I go, but if I sit down with her on the floor she promptly puts her head in my lap and takes a nap.  On this dreary day with mixed precipitation and treacherous roads/driveways, she has the right idea.

I have nothing but good things to say about this girl.  And wait until she fully relaxes.  She is mostly very serious so far, but as you can see she has her silly moments too.


January 11, 2022

Harper continues to do well here.  She is NOT a fan of this weather though. I don’t think it’s the cold so much as it is the ice.  Unfortunately right after she arrived, we had a mixed precipitation event and with single digit temperatures at night and temperatures not getting above freezing during the day, even the lawn is a sheet of ice.  Still Harper is efficient and carefully goes outside, gets her business done and hasn’t had a single accident.

Little Miss Harper is a little picky with her food too, but her Mississippi foster momma said she was the same for her the first few days.  She’s on doxycycline which can also make some dogs have upset stomachs. And she is really good at spitting out pills, so I’ve had to get creative with chopping it up into small bits and mixing it up with chicken, scrambled eggs and liverwurst! Maybe it’s all an act to get better food, but it’s working.

Harper follows us everywhere we go, but is also starting to engage with the resident dogs as well.  She is even initiating play.  The only time we hear her bark is when she is happy and wanting to play.  She also loves to play with  her stuffies and she shakes them around like nobody’s business.  She has so much fun with them.

Like so many dogs in the south where mosquitoes are found year round, Harper got a positive heartworm diagnosis.  It’s such a shame, as all it takes to keep a dog heartworm-free is a monthly chewable preventative.  But we’ll get her better in no time.  Tomorrow she goes to the vet for two more tests to confirm the diagnosis, and if she’s positive we’ll come up with her treatment plan.  Harper is asymptomatic (no coughing or lethargy) which is a good sign.   We had another heartworm positive dog that we fostered that we took through the treatment, and it really wasn’t an issue for the dog or for us.  All it takes is the right environment- one where you can keep a dog quiet and with no kids in the house and resident dogs that are getting older (7, 9 and 12) we fit the bill.  She’ll require extra love and snuggling, but there is plenty of that to go around.

Stay tuned for an update after Harper’s vet appointment.



January 14, 2022

Foster mom apologizes for the delay.  It was confirmed by the vet thatHarper is heartworm positive but her heart sounds good and her lungs clear, so we’re hoping she’ll do just fine through the treatment, and she’ll be as good as new.  She was very good at the vet while they poked and prodded her and trimmed her nails.

She continues to be such a good girl.  She is so easy in the house.  She is being less picky about her food- and in fact, she starts giving me the “look” mid day- when is dinner mom?  Harper loves being outside, but for now we’re limiting her outdoor time to being on leash.  Even though she is asymptomatic, it’s best for her not to run around.  Still, she loves her walks and likes to smell everything.  She is a bit of a puller (it’s that sniffer of hers) but we’ve been using the Freedom harness with great success and she is catching on after just two sessions.  She’s a smart girl.  I’m sure she has never been on a leash before so this is all new to her.

We’ve also been practicing getting in and out of the car – not a ton- but enough so that she will get in on her own and not have to be picked up. We’ve also left her home with our dogs for short periods and watched in the camera.  She is doing great, although she did join the resident labs up on the couch.   They are not allowed on the furniture but we have discovered, now that we have cameras, that they hop up to look out the window in hopes they’ll see us come up the driveway soon.  She decided to follow suit.  Otherwise she seems to have zero interest in getting on furniture or beds.  Good girl Harper.  On one errand my husband I left together in the same car (I was dropping him off to pick up his car that was being serviced) and when I came home she barked and circled around his car.  She was sure he was in there.  Again I think she is very smart.

That’s all for now.


January 19, 2022

The hardest part about having Harper- no really the only hard part of having Harper- is having to keep her calm when she feels great and just wants to have fun.  She doesn’t know she is sick and clearly she feels just fine.  That makes me think she is going to rock the heartworm treatment, but oh how I wish I could explain to her that she has to take it easy until we get through this.  I can see how much she wants to run around and play.  We got 6″ of snow the other day and boy did she want to frolic with my labs who always get goofy in new snow.  Harper wasn’t a fan of the ice we had earlier in the month, but she loves the snow and her thick coat seems to be keeping her plenty warm.

When I separate her from the other dogs, I can give her bones and food puzzles – things that my pups really don’t need but will want if they see her having them.  And she is happily occupied.  Luckily for Harper she is going on a road trip with foster mom to Maine to visit her foster grandparents (resident dogs will stay with foster dad) so she’ll have some great quiet time and I’ll be able to use these enrichment toys and bones to try and help wear her out mentally.  We’re also going to continue to work on loose leash walking on the great walking paths around the retirement community.  That too will be easier without having other dogs around that she wants to keep up with.  She also needs some practice seeing more cars.

Harper is a very cuddly girl who loves to be pet, and receiving a belly rub is one of her favorite pastimes.  She still follows us around some but not all the time.  She really is starting to relax and feel safe.  And the picky eating is a thing of the past.  She is eating her meals with relish.





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