10/27/10:  We got to visit Shaggy.  He was so glad to see us.  I am sure he remembered us.  Nita took some photos also that I hope to post soon. 

8/22/10:      He is such a good boy. He applies dog logic to situations inappropriately sometimes, but that is part and parcel of being a dog.
       Here is is enjoying the morning at my sister's house in Tulsa (video):
        I've attached a couple of others. One of his silly smiling face in the car and another of his silly blur-wag at the prospect of going inside. He's had a fresh blow out in the second.
        Photos of my 15 month old niece groping my 95 pound dog. I'm sure you could have guessed this, but they got along swimmingly. The trick was keeping her from treating him like a giant throw rug. He didn't mind at all, but it sets a poor precedent for behavior.
      Hmmm... there was another Shaggy anecdote in my head, but it's fallen out.   At any rate, we're doing quite well together.


In response to my 5/05/10 email "How's Shaggy?": 

   Actually we're spending a lot of time together outside. my back porch is very sheltered and cool, with a ceiling fan.
   He is a really really happy boy. really thriving as an only child. doesn't have much competition for the pats and attention and, well, dog drama. plays with my friends' dogs and neighbor dogs--i am too lazy for the dog park. keeps watch on his extended pasture. his extended pasture involve the homes of people he considers friends that he can see from our house or yard. he makes little maruph growling noises to let me know that he's watching some activity. there is a different bark set for when he sees something stimulating and entertaining, but not of concern.
     I made him a traffic handle and that's what we use when we walk. because when I use that, we don't have to discuss heeling or leash behavior. he does something that approximates it naturally.
     So we are really well as a pair. I have had such luck in the dogs I've brought home. because even when someone else evaluates an animal, you really don't know that your behavior, habits, and personality will be a good fit. he rides in the car, is reasonable in the house, handles other dogs well in the world, doesn't eat cats, can hold down the fort for the length of a workday, is trustworthy with children and fragile adults, and likes a certain level and type of interaction. and we love each other and have fun together.

3/25/10:  Carol, I am  pining - PINING - for Shiloh.
      But I cannot afford another dog. Do let me know if the pack chemistry changes and you need a foster for her. That I can handle.
      Also, the "what the hell" part of your post cracked me up. I bathed Shaggy the other day. In the shower. With me. What the hell, indeed.
      regards, n

2/09/10: Shaggy is doing well. Given his history as a goat dog, he was unimpressed by today's snow. You'll also notice that he looks particularly fetching in blue.
      He's been a good boy, making more friends every day. Was an excellent and gentle companion this summer while my mother recovered from grueling surgeries.
      He usually gets along with most dogs--if they aren't to coexist, it's usually the other party who instigates things. But there's one big exception to that: the adolescent husky that lives next door. He'll submit to their Dachshund, but that husky is not to be trusted.  I finally figured out why. He protects his goats from predators. After getting quite insistent with the growling (Shaggy, not the husky), my friends removed their husky from the room. Someone said of Shaggy that he thought he was grinning.  Of course he was! He had protected us from the wolf. Dog psychology.
      He's still a bit of a country boy after all.   Hope you're well.       Nita
Shaggy and I are still doing well. He's more and more comfortable with city life. For example, he's now pretty blase' about cars with big stereos and household beeping.

He's quite trusting when it comes to me asking him to stand on weird things--including unstable surfaces like this merry go round. I think he enjoys playing the part of co-conspirator.

Oh, and you can see in this photo that his coat is coming back. Though it's quite thin across the top, and it snarls at the merest suggestion of rain. Luckily, while he requires regular brushing, it doesn't take more than a few swipes of the brush to put him to rights.

I hope you and all your pups are well.        Nita
2/13/09:  Here are some pictures I took of Shaggy this afternoon at lunch. Nita 
1/21/09 update: Shaggy Dog barked again this morning. It sounded exactly like a declaration that the yard, the house, and their contents are his and beware the individual who fails to respect that.  He still doesn't bark to let me know he's ready to come in. If he's still out and about, I get to see him grinning and galloping to come to me. The barking, grinning, and galloping all fill me with a happy gratitude.

His personality is emerging, and it's a charming one. He's developing his own relationships with my friends and family. Some pets cement their own friendships, and I love it that he is one of those. Cherilyn (the friend who drove to Mountain Home with me) is clearly very special to him and is guaranteed a display of giraffe-skin Shaggy belly within moments of arrival. He becomes very solemn around my friend Stephen, and sits down in front of him immediately. For Stephen's wife Jen, he jumps on the couch, the better for her to give him full-body hugs.

He is much better acclimated to the day-to-day noises in the house, though my oversensitive smoke alarm sends him in search of a hiding place.

Shaggy likes his nylabone, plush toys, the couch, snuggling, prancing, soft surfaces, the center hallway of my house, treats, having his food and water elevated, my grandmother, car trips, walks, and being released from a wait. He dislikes leave-taking, having his food in a metal dish, grooming spray, car alarms, having his beard cleaned, the crazy guy who lives across the street, scolding (rare!), and yappy little dogs.

He's better than being simply a sweet fellow. He's a comfort, a great pal, and a bit of a goof. Also, a conversation piece. I am fortunate enough to live within walking distance of many of my friends, and he's met more than 20 people since coming home with me. He's well behaved and friendly with everyone I've introduced him to.

I don't always give the best picture of him in these notes. I really wish I could do a better job of describing what Shaggy the Only Dog is like, since you know Shaggy the Pack Boy so well. I will be able to handle my camera again soon, so I can send you some more photos at least.        Regards, Nita


1/03/09: Shaggy and I went to the vet this morning. He is negative on his heartworm blood smear and proclaimed healthy. He was weighed (97.5 pounds), and I got him micro-chipped. There was a lot of traffic in the veterinarian's office this morning, and the beeps of the door alert made him nervous. Nonetheless, he comported himself well.   Regards,    Nita



1/02/09:  Shaggy is at his new home.  Here is the first update: 
So far Shaggy has:
  • Met many nice people and requested they pet them, including very gratifying full-body cuddles with my good friends up the street.
  • Gone for a short but nice walk
  • Eaten a little dinner and a little breakfast. Not as much as I would like, but as much as he is ready for right now.
  • Discussed the merits of the front door versus the back door.
  • Supervised the neighborhood squirrels from the porch.
  • Wondered why I wasn't ready for bed when he was
  • Test driven the merits of the floors and floor coverings in every room in my small house.
  • Quality-tested the couch. Apparently, my couch lacks in charm and panache, but makes up for it in comfort and snoozability. He's very thorough when it comes to quality control.
  • Attempted to supervise me while I cooked my own breakfast. I asked him to remove his nose from the vicinity of the stove, lest he make a distressing discovery about the burner. He was a good guy, and removed his nose.
  • Slept with me in my bed.  (You saw that last one coming, right? He is a very solid sleeper--no wiggling or pushing.

 Our plan for today is:

  • Gentle brushing
  • A constitutional or two around the neighborhood
  • Working on "Sit" and "Off". Don't worry, I'll keep school lighthearted and brief.
  • An experimental hour or two alone in the house--for him, that is
  • Naps, cuddles, mutual admiration
I'll try and send you some photographs (flash free) later today.  Nita

12/27/08:  Shaggy is just such a great boy.  Aside from 4:00 a.m. playtime (we are working on that) he is perfect.  He is just as comfortable with people as with dogs, but he is definitely a people dog.  He prefers inside most of the time.  He likes to sleep either next to the bed or on the doggie bed.  He's kind of adopted the dog bed as his own, but if another dog is there first, he is just fine with finding somewhere else to settle in.  His favorite place in the day is right next to my husband at the computer.  He gets as close as he can, lifts his paw and wants it 'held'.


12/18/08:  Shaggy has settled in and gets along with everybody.  If it were not for my 4 year commitment to Bear,  Shaggy would just stay here forever.  Bear just will not tolerate another male who he considers an adversary.  Thus, I have to alternate their presence with the others throughout the day. This is not fair to either Shaggy or Bear.  Shaggy is still grieving for the little boy but he has become very attached to my husband.  Shaggy will not go anywhere unless it is the absolute perfect home for him.
10/27/08:  So much for "We love him so much".  They had to move and Shaggy just wasn't in the plan.  I would not be bitter except for the fact that instead of honoring the contract and contacting me to come get him, they dumped him at a high kill shelter!  Luckily Janice saw him listed on petfinder and recognized him.  He is back here and safe and re-adjusting nicely.  It is very obvious that he does miss the little boy. 

Well it has been awhile and I wanted to let you know Shaggy is doing GREAT. We love him very much. I ended up shaving him and he seems to like it, because now he can get on the couch.
 My son loves him. They are good pals. He is such a great companion. Here are some pictures for you.
 Thank You,  Jamie 


5/12/08:  A happier boy you will not meet.  And there are not too many dogs that will keep you smiling until your jaws hurt.  He is a clown, but a well mannered one.  Having spent most of his life on a chain has not dampened his spirits.  Now that he is free to run in a big yard and socialize with humans inside the house, he is in total heaven and he lets you know it.  He has been coming and going from house to yard through the doggie door and has not done any 'marking' inside.  He has been sleeping half under the bed. (He got stuck the first time he got all the way under so now just goes half way).  He's not a big barker.  He has no issues.  He does seem to have a preference where his food bowl is.  He carefully will pick it up and move it close to his people, then finish eating.  Food is not a big deal to him. 

2/04/08: Shaggy should be getting a nice grooming tomorrow and you will see an amazing physical transformation.  One thing that can not be improved on is his happy go lucky personality.  He loves attention.  He has spent most of his life on a chain so this new life in rescue is the greatest experience he has ever had.  He will have eternal gratitude to someone who will give him a home where he can have a big yard to play in yet people who will interact with him.