Friday Reads: Our Rescue Dog Edition

If Mike ever thought he wanted a threesome with a young blonde, I don’t think this is what he had in mind.

About a month ago, Mike and I adopted an 18-month-old rescue dog we named Maddy who had been picked up by animal control in Yakima. Although the rescue organization thought she might be a Cairn terrier mix, we suspect she’s actually a Dutch Smoushound, a rare terrier breed that was brought back from extinction by a woman named Mrs. Barkman. (I’m not making that up.) Maddy had been adopted twice and returned to the rescue organization. The first adoptive family, an elderly couple, returned her in part because she didn’t “speak English.” The second, a doctor and his wife, decided after two weeks they didn’t have time for a dog after all.

She’s a sweet, loving little girl who was pretty terrified of people and traffic at first, but she’s getting more brave everyday. Mike and I have been trying to study and learn all we can about being good dog parents. Of course, since I’m a reporter at heart, I have checked out most of the books on dogs from the Seattle Library. Here are the best ones that I’ve read in the past couple of weeks.

We got a lot of general books on dogs, but The Dog Bible by Kristin Mehus-Roe was probably the most useful for understanding fundamentals of how to take care of a dog, variations on training styles and so on. Marion Nestle’s Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine pretty much freaked me out about commercial dog food. That led me to the book Feed Your Best Friend Better by Rick Woodford aka The Dog Food Dude, provides a very helpful look at what foods you can safely feed your dog and how to supplement commercial dog food. He has some interesting tips, too, such as making sure your dog gets enough calcium by pulverizing eggshells into a fine dust and adding a tiny amount to their food. Good Dog, Bad Habits by Jeanne Carlson has been helpful in assisting us to understand why Maddy does certain behaviors. We’re much more aware of her body language and what it means. Finally, we picked up a copy of Best Hikes with Dogs in Western Washington by The Mountaineers.

I’ll never totally understand what Maddy thinks or what she’ll do. We have a lot more to learn. But one thing I can say, when Maddy comes to bed with us at night, we both tell her that’s she a beautiful little blonde.

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12 Comments

Filed under books, Friday Reads

12 responses to “Friday Reads: Our Rescue Dog Edition

  1. Sandra

    Awww. She is a beautiful little blonde. Bless you for rescuing her and keeping her. Poor little baby having been back and forth between so many homes. I’m glad she found her forever home.

  2. Maddy is a doll! Even though my dogs are nearing 3, I might need to check some of these out, especially the Bad Habits one…

  3. Jenni

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on dog food. I started to make my own to add to her kibble. I have the fussiest dog on the planet… !

  4. Hi Kathleen, I have a friend who is a dog breeder, groomer, and photographer (she’s not high-achieving at all, LOL) and she’s written some excellent blogposts on dog diets, dog health and dog behavior. Thought I’d share a link to her blog in case you’re interested 🙂 http://rufflyspeaking.net/blog/category/dog-health/dog-diets/
    http://rufflyspeaking.net/blog/category/responsible-ownership/books/

    Maddy is beautiful, and bless you for giving her a home and understanding that she will need time to adjust and that you need to do some work to be a great pet parent! My dog is also a rescue dog, one that was given up by her original family, then rehomed from one rescue to another, etc. It took her a year to fully relax into the knowledge that she was finally home with us. I never expected to love a dog this much (she was supposed to be the boys’ dog) but now I consider her an essential part of my life. I wish you three much happiness & health together!

  5. Congratulations on the new addition to your family. She’s very lucky to have found you both.

  6. Mary Jo Greenwood

    Welcome to the world of dog people, Kathy. Your and Mike’s lives will never be the same. Our beloved pets have given so much love and ask so little in return. I know you will enjoy your beautiful little blond. What a lucky dog to be rescued by such caring new owners.

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