Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Gotcha Day CupKate!

It was 5 years ago that I saw this pathetic little face on Petfinder.com
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I had several emails and phone calls back and forth with the foster coordinator. Since Kate was a 3.5 hour drive away, we all wanted to be as sure as we could that this was good fit. The FC’s priority was getting Kate into a home that would help her. She wanted her to go to someone who would help her get over her issues and not just accommodate them. My biggest priority was Bella. I did not want to end up with a dog that would make her life miserable.

It was a win-win. Although, there was some questioning on that first day
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First step: Remove some fat!
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I don’t know if you can really tell since you guys don’t see her IRL, but man-o-man was she out of shape. The dog that can go all day now could only run for about 3 minutes before she had to lie down! Getting her in shape was pretty easy as following Bella around was her number 1 priority. Everything else has definitely been a learning experience for both of us. Kate is both the easiest and most difficult dog I have ever worked with. She really is an easy keeper. Quiet, non-destructive, travels well, good with others. The struggle for both of us has been dealing with her worrying.

This she has always done a lot of
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She’s the dog that Can’t Be Wrong
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Progress was also hindered by the fact that she didn’t know what toys were
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And wouldn’t eat treats
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There were many times that I looked at Bella and said, “what the hell are we supposed to do with this dog?” :-)

After about a year of shaping, trying to get her into toys, she just decided one day that maybe balls were kind cool. I was sitting on a bench at the park throwing the ball for Bella. I looked up and noticed that Bell didn’t have the ball. Of course, I started to get annoyed. Who’s untrained dog am I going to have to chase around the park for 20 minutes to get my ball back? It was Kate! I think the day Kate discovered retrieveing was the darkest day of Bella’s life. Haha. It’s been all down hill from there.

The Kateness was born
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She is the perfect example of Be Careful What You Wish For
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She also quickly caught on to the She Who Holds The Ball Rules The World thing. Need a break? Don’t let it go.
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It’s been such a joy to watch her change. My favorite is just seeing her enjoy herself. Just have fun or hang out or just be without worrying that some unnamed horrible thing is going to happen any minute.
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I say to her often, “I love you even though you’re the most clingy and annoying dog I’ve ever met.”
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Bella loves her, too, even though she may prefer a little more personal space from time to time
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To celebrate, we had a little peanut butter last night. PB is the one torturous thing I allow myself to do to my dogs. Watching progression of irritation cracks me up ever single time.

We start all very excited that something good is coming! Bella gets all smiley
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Kate tries hard to keep her shit together. What she really wants to be doing right here is screaming in my face.
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Then we get our first tastes and life is good.
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Well, life is good until you have been licking for about 3 hours trying to get the damn PB off you face.

My face is tired
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This is not so fun anymore
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I’m going to kill you in your sleep
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No, no, let me. I sleep closer to her head
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26 comments:

  1. aw what a great post!

    happy gotcha day, kate!

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  2. Hip Hip Hooray for the CupKate! Roo also agrees with Bella and Kate that peanut butter is very overrated. Sticky is icky :)

    Keep on catchin,
    Roo

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  3. I've been enjoying your blog for sometime now. Thank you for Kate's background.

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  4. What a sweet post and great photos. Those tongues have got to win some sort of canine record.

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  5. awww....lovely post. their faces are so funny! what dear things they are.

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  7. Happy Gotcha Day, Kate! I love the action shots with the ball.

    Kate and Bella, would you mind coming for a visit to teach MY couch potato border collie crosses how to play with balls and other toys?
    Maybe I should coat a ball with peanut butter?

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  8. This was one of the best, most moving blog articles I've read in a while. Thanks for the story about Kate. I love the part where she discovered balls. My puppy has discovered birds ;)

    Beautiful.

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  9. I am new to your blog and I have to say 3 things:
    1) I love your pictures, they are stunning!
    2) Kate discovering balls reminds me of my Dixie discovering water (rivers, lakes, oceans, ponds, she is in!)
    3) This post made me almost cry it was so sweet, and then I laughed out loud at the end because dogs and PB are so hilarious.

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  10. Awesome reason for a post. I was delighted to discover Kates from Petfinder! Nice to hear about her past, prior to her wonderful present and future :)

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  11. Wonderful post! Love seeing the contrast of the different positions of Kate's ears in the beginning compared to the more recent photos.
    What a difference love makes!!

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  12. Happy Gotcha Day Kate!

    I didn't ever read back and see if you'd posted her story on the blog, but I just wanted to say it looked like a hilarious and rewarding journey in teaching Kate how to annoy Bella the bestest.

    She's such a goofy little dog. You take the best pictures of them! (LOVE the one where she's shutting her eyes at the frisbee!)

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  13. Cool post..you are a lucky dog having found you forever home. Great pictures
    Benny & Lilyrethn

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  14. I love dogs too but can never understand why a couple would take one to their wedding. I even wrote a post about it on my blog:
    http://soyouwanttobeabanquetmanager.blogspot.com/2010/07/why-is-there-dog-here.html

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  15. Happy Gotcha Day, Kate! That was a wonderful story with great pictures too!

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  16. LOL! Brilliant pics! Belated birthday wishes from afar!

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  17. I love the post and the pictures they are great...your dog is stunning...very energetic!!!

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  18. Those are some impressive tongues.

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  19. Wow!! That is a great post and yu are special to take her on but I'm sure she was very much worth it!! Both you and Bell have a new BFF

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  20. Absolutely love this post! Couldn't stop laughing...My oldest has 1 ball that she plays with when she gets sick of seeing the real ball dog get all the throwing attention. This will last about 3 min and then it's back to clinging to mom. Check out my blog if you get a chance http://www.arwenspack.blogspot.com/
    Thanks and I'm definitely following!

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  21. I am super late, but Happy Gotcha Day to one of my favorite Interwebz dogs! So nice to see her transformation.

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  22. happy gotcha day kate!! she looks SO sweet.

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  23. p.s. those tongue shots are AMAZING!

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  24. Happy Gotcha Day, Kate! What a great post. I'm so glad that you've given Kate such a wonderful life. The world needs more dog lovers like you who are willing to give rescue dogs a full life, complete with hobbies, a family, and a job.

    And as always, amazing photos. I love seeing their personalities pop out of every photo.

    Kisses,
    Laila (and her human Renee)

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