Finding Ivy

Last night, Jenn and I had quite a little adventure. We had gone with Ted to see Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? at the Dryden and drove him back home. On the way back to Jenn's I spotted a dog standing in the snow off 490 near the Averill underpass.

Going back a few days, while Jenn was working at her studio, a woman came by and handed her a poster about a lost dog named Ivy [corrected1]. We see notices for lost pets and pay them little mind other than to hope the animal gets home okay. But Ivy was a rescued black Labrador retriever mix from a shelter in Kentucky. The reason we paid attention is sheer coincidence: Jenn's dog is also a black lab, and was also a rescue from—of all places—Kentucky. Ivy had just arrived and escaped from an Another Chance Pet Rescue foster family near Meigs and Monroe just a day after she arrived (they didn't know the dog's name so they named her Ivy … for all of a day, so obviously the dog wouldn't respond to that name.) The poster said that she was so timid that we should not try to approach her as she'd just run away.

Anyway, when we saw this black dog, we immediately thought it might be Ivy. So we got off at Goodman and went to go back to see off an overpass. But then I figured our best bet would be to get back on the highway, so after trying to remember the existence of the Byron Street entrance, we passed the poster on Alexander. I snapped a picture so we could have the phone numbers. We got back on but we saw neither the dog nor her prints. So we looped around again. This time, we found the tracks in the snow just behind the Spring Steel place on S. Clinton.

We called the people on the poster and they said they'd send their friends out. I had my headlamp from biking so I put that on and went up the embankment cautiously. I had noticed in the past I could see animal eyes in the darkness using the headlamp. After searching a bit, I found a pair of eyes looking back at me from under a tree near the building.

I went back and called again and really set things in motion. They called Animal Control to try and catch the dog, and sent a half-dozen people our way to help find her. One of the women affiliated with Operation Greece Pug Rescue and the officer from Animal Control arrived nearly simultaneously. We went up the embankment and found the dog—this time positively identified as Ivy. Unfortunately, she did manage to get away.

But she had been in the elements for about 7 days already, so she wasn't moving too fast. I watched her cross under Averill then continue to past Alexander before I lost sight of her, all the while fortunately staying in the snow and out of traffic. Jenn and I got back in the car and looped around again. We found Ivy just about on the entrance ramp. We stopped the car to call that we saw her, but she started running back. We followed her and tried to keep some distance, but she doubled back again and we lost her.

We got in touch with the Animal Control officer and one of the women involved. The officer provided a can of food for the dog and they were planning to set a live trap over night. We left and decided to see if we could find her again. We stopped in the Goodwill parking lot to look for tracks on Byron Street and found some, but no dog.

We got back to the car and called the woman from the Pug Rescue to say we were going home. She said that they had her—they actually caught Ivy. She was badly dehydrated, had hypothermia, and was on her way to the pet emergency center! It turns out she also had a laceration on her leg and a possible fracture.

A sickly black lab being carried by a volunteer.

Ivy gets rescued by a volunteer.

By today she was out of emergency care and it looks like she's going to survive. She'll need some more veterinary care in the coming weeks. If you want, you can donate through the PayPal link on the lower-right of the Another Chance Pet Rescue website.


1 2014-Feb-13: Correction: it wasn't her mom who gave her the poster, but her mom was present.

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Good Luck to Tieson

Back in January I got a dog named Tieson. Even back then I knew he'd be a handful. But, over the last 5 months or so, I worked on his quirks. I took him to an obedience class at Dogs At Play (75 Howell St.) which helped a lot. I figured out how to keep him from peeing in the house: I just kept him confined — at first to his travel crate (which he didn't seem to like too much) and then to the foyer which gave him a little more room to move around (which he seemed fine with.)

But there was always his Jack Russell Terrier tendencies. His high energy level was not a problem for me, nor was his desire for play and attention. But he needed someone who was always dominant. And that was the problem.

Any chance he had to take his "rightful spot" as alpha dog, he took. For instance, if I was sitting on the couch to watch a movie and I invited him up, after a while he'd snarl a bit if I tried to pet him. If I persisted he'd eventually bite me. He was, however, a good and obedient dog, so I could just say, "get off" and he'd get off the couch (with a begrudging growl sometimes) and then I could call him over and (as long as he was on the ground and I was on the couch) I could pet him without any problem.

But I want a dog that is a companion, not a servant. And after he tried to attack a neighbor who came to trim the hedge row on my side, and after he attacked Ali and Lucy (the dog she and I have joint-custody of) I decided enough was enough.

I looked on the Internet and found Russell Rescue, Inc. who specialize in rescuing and adopting Jack Russell Terriers. There are only three contacts in the northeast and one happens to be in Irondequoit. I sent an e-mail and called but I got no response, so tonight I took Tieson to The Humane Society at Lollypop Farm (99 Victor Rd., Fairport).

Because of his history of biting, he's got an uphill battle. I think he'll get to a behavioral evaluation, but then it's up to him to not growl or bite. He's a pretty smart dog, but I hope he figures out that it's do-or-die.

Literally.

The house is now much more quiet with just me and my cat Pumpkin. But I am overall relieved. As I described to a friend, it was like living with a roommate you barely tolerate. Even though the good times were nice, there was a lot of tension and stress. And now I'll be able to sleep in when I want to because I'll actually be able to set the alarm clock rather than this:

6:30 a.m. wake-up call from my dog

The Tieson Alarm Clock

Good luck, buddy.

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Some Smoothies are More Equal than Others

Last night I had a hankering for a fruit smoothie, and I decided to swing by Equal=GroundsMySpace link (750 South Ave., formerly Hunt's Hardware). I got a mixed berry with mint — ordinarily I'd go with blackberry with mint, but "mixed" is really black+rasp, so it was a pretty acceptable substitution. It was perfect: so full of flavor that any more would have been too sweet, and blended so smooth it all fit through the straw.

Contrast that to tonight when I stopped by Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) for a light dinner before the movie. Although the peach smoothie was acceptably flavored, the chunks of ice were too big to fit through the straw, leading to the unpleasantness of ice jams.

I tolerated the ice jams worse than average because Ali had called that Lucy (the dog) was getting stitches after having been bit by a Rottweiler. The other dog had a sketchy past and had broke its collar; its owner was horrified and shaken. Lucy will probably be fine: she got bit pretty good in her front leg, but they managed to pull off the Rottweiler before it did any mortal damage.

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I Have a Dog Now

Last month I saw an ad for a dog to a good home. I replied and got the new dog, Lucy (Ali's and my dog), and Pumpkin Pie (my gray American short-hair cat, named by a crazy cat lady) all together and they seemed to get along acceptably — I know things would be rough, but the behavior of the new dog was key.

So last Monday the 23rd I got "Tieson" (the etymology of which I still haven't inquired about). He's a Jack Russell terrier who's 9-year-old (as of today, actually).

The first day I had him his behavior was better than I could have expected. Pumpkin was very patient and only a few skirmishes broke out. His previous owner said he had bladder issues when home alone, and I presumed it was due to separation anxiety. In fact, when I went to Genesee Bakery (1677 Mount Hope Ave.) for all of 10 minutes, he soaked a pillow pretty good. He only had one such "accident" so far.

That night, I let him sleep in my bed. During the night, I noticed he started to intensely regard the vacuum cleaner. After an hour or so, he decided that it was, indeed, an infernal machine and must be barked at. I turned on the light and he was startled to see me, transferring his agression to me. Before I could get him out of the bedroom, he managed to bite me pretty hard on the hand. Being kind of aggressive, I have learned this particular Jack Russell is happiest if he's kept in his place (e.g. lower than eye-contact with people.)

The next day went well as well. I learned some things he didn't like and mostly avoided them. However, when returning from a walk, I expected him to get bite-y when I toweled off his wet belly so I put on leather gloves and, when he inevitably did snap at me, I pinned him down firmly to show that I was "alpha". I didn't like doing it, but it didn't hurt him, and I had to do it again later when he snapped at me on my bed. I gather it's not harmful, per se, especially if used sparingly, but I don't want him to have an "alpha dog" relationship with me. It should help that I signed him up for obedience class at Dogs At Play (75 Howell St.)

By Thursday we were running together in the morning. Jack Russells are known for their speed and endurance: he kept up for all 4 miles or so. During the day, cat-dog relations had a setback when I picked up Pumpkin to pet him and Tieson, apparently jealous, seemed curious to see what I was doing and then he decided it was a good idea to bite Pumpkin's tail. I ended up with a couple scratches on my face and on my hands from the ensuing body launch.

Today he was thrilled to "go for a ride" and was even thrilled to visit the vet at Penfield Veterinary Hospital (1672 Penfield Rd.) for all his shots and more. Now he's all set for his dog license, so he gets to be a real little dog.

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Ali, Lucy, and I Visit Chimney Bluffs

Ali and I took the 50-mile drive to Chimney Bluffs State Park (7700 Garner Rd., Wolcott) for the afternoon with our dog, Lucy. The park is really nice and interesting: a moderately challenging [and, at this time, incredibly muddy], 1-mile trail that climbs to the top of alien-looking "earthen spires". It's a peculiar treasure around here: I have yet to mention it to someone who already knew about it.

On the way back, we stopped for dinner at Orbaker's Drive-In (4793 State Route 104, Williamson) which is this great burger joint that's been there forever. Ali knew of it — being an aficionado of sauce-laden burgers — and rates it very highly. While not quite worth a trip from anywhere, it's not that far if you're already out 104 on the east side.

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