Friday, October 24, 2014

The Food Room

Here's what our food room looks like... with all the breakfast bowls washed and ready for use!

All of the feeding arrangements are written up on the board for the morning staff to follow and adjust, depending on the dog's preference or health protocol.

Some dogs are on special food, like a kidney diet, others may enjoy a certain kind, like fish flavored, still others want canned food mixed in to entice them to finish it all! Each dog gets their own bowl and a special meal catered individually to them.

What happens when GHF gets a new dog?

Since rescue is an evolving and continual process, the flux of new dogs and adoptions is essentially constant. Though we are on hiatus, we start back up in November and so here's a run down of what happens when new dogs arrive...

Most of the time it takes a team of transporters to get the dog (typically somewhere in the north east, though we've had dogs from China before!) Each transporter will take a different 'leg' of the journey and eventually, the teamwork from the kind volunteers involved gets the dog(s) to the gates of GHF!

It's remarkable to watch these new dogs, some coming from being chained or from being crated all day--clearly situations where they weren't getting what they needed as BCs--to a green haven filled with different sensory experiences and people dedicated to their well-being, health, and happiness. 

We normally allow the dog plenty of time outside (they have to pee from the long ride!) and give them the opportunity to orient themselves in their new environment, which, as mentioned before, is usually drastically different from where they came.

Depending on how they settle in, we see what their vet histories look like: based on this, they may receive a dewormer or have a heart worm test, which not only tests for this infectious parasite but also checks for 3 different tick borne diseases, including lyme disease, which is common in dogs. 

Due to their circumstances, most of the time the dogs get a bath, to complete their fresh start, and frequently they receive a new name to initiate the journey towards a new and loving life! In the immediate days following, these new guys are given extra attention to ensure their acclimation is smooth and they remain happy; that way, if any changes need to be made they are done sooner rather than later and we can minimize any potential anxiety, which is normal for any dog to experience during such a lifestyle change. 

The dogs realize quickly that the digs at GHF are rather accommodating! 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Rob & his Kong

Here is another farm dog, Robbie, enjoying his peanut butter stuffed Kong. In the morning, when dogs are first let out, or during the day when they are running through the paddocks, sometimes the caretakers will let one of the dogs roam inside the barn; that way they get a chance to have some people-time while the actual care taking 'chores' are done--water buckets are changed and food is mixed.

Usually we stuff the Kongs with peanut butter and put them in the freezer... that way it lasts longer for the dogs to enjoy. And most dogs LOVE peanut butter!

Rob is pictured here with a 'classic' red kong. What is your favorite type of Kong toy and why? What's your favorite stuffing?

Pastoral Paddocks

The farm may be on hiatus, but the dogs sure aren't! 

At the farm, the dogs are rotated between various large paddocks so they get plenty of time to run and bask in the sunshine.

Here is Bud after a long play session with his roommate Pip, a Sprakers dog. They are both close in age and make a great match! Both love to make up 'herding' games, romping, chasing and being chased!

There are a total of five large paddocks for the dogs to enjoy and explore. We typically change-up the paddocks for the dogs so they feel as though they aren't stuck in one place, doing the same activity. Some days are more play-heavy, others are more dedicated to spending quality one on one time. What many of the dogs love most however is walking through the paddocks with one of the caretakers. That way they get plenty of human reassurance but also enough space to frolic and be themselves!