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Author Topic: Found 2 possible bichons to adopt: help!  (Read 11332 times)
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BichonMom86
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« on: June 18, 2014, 08:10:16 PM »

I don't post here often, so I'm sorry for not contributing much but asking for advice :-/ However I could REALLY use it. A friend of mine, whose parents adopted their Bichon, recently sent me over to petfinder and adopt a pet. I guess I am a little clueless and thought Bichons just were NOT adoptable! I was saving money for a Bichon puppy ($$$$), but I am really open to adopting, I hate to see a beautiful Bichon (or any dog for that matter) at a shelter.

So I found two Bichons for adoption that I am interested in: the first one, P, is a beauty. However his owners neglected him and he has some house training issues. I spent an hour with him at the shelter. He was extremely happy when I took him for walks, he liked to stand and dance, and was friendly. However he seemed really anxious (who wouldn't be!?), and it took him a while to warm up to me. I'm really nervous about the housetraining issue. The owners report said that they punished him by crating him (!!), left him alone for long periods of time, and in turn he went to the bathroom in the house (mainly on their bed / near the toilet/ in his own crate).

The second Bichon is a severely overweight Bichon, B, his hair was matted so he had to be shaved  No but he was so happy after the grooming he was dancing and running around. The rescue believes he was living with someone w/ dementia who overfed him a lot. He has a REALLY good attitude, he's just adorable, but I worry about his health. He currently weights 48 lbs, and he needs to lose 20 lbs. He is 8, which isn't too old for a Bichon. He was at the vet last week and he is in really good health, his liver enzymes are "very slightly elevated" however the vet said this is normal for his age. I really think B has the demeanor I am looking for, I just am extremely worried about his health.

If anyone has any experience with overweight Bichons, adoption, or any input would greatly appreciated!!!

Thanks so much!

Alyce
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Freedom (Sandie)
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2014, 09:12:13 AM »

Good for you, considering rescue, and giving it lots of thought.

A rescue dog -- of any breed -- is typically going to have some issues which will require your patience, diligence, and action.  I highly recommend anyone getting a rescue to plan on attending group obedience classes, at a place which uses only positive reinforcement.  This gives the dog a setting in which to learn to focus on YOU, to let YOU take the lead.  This also gives YOU the training you need to work with your dog.  At the same time, you have someone experienced -- the trainer -- who is assessing the dog, noticing the dog's body language and explaining it to you, so you quickly get up to speed on learning your dog's signals.

Most training places charge the fee 'per dog,' so all family members can AND SHOULD attend all the classes, and do all the homework and practices.    This gets all the humans using the same hand signals and verbal commands.

Now, as to these 2 doggies specifically:
You did not state if these dogs are fixed.  Both are males, and a male dog (any breed) who has matured and has not been neutered 'may' have a habit of marking. At a minimum, you need to be ready to pay for having an adult dog neutered.  Do you have the funds for this?

P, you did not mention an age, or age range.  Potty training is usually something all rescues need help with, as they have been in the cage / kennel at the shelter, and in the habit of going in their living situation.  P needs to have a set routine, going out at regular times for walks (not just time to roam in the back yard), eating meals at set times, and having about the same portion each time. 

You said he needed time to warm up to you.  Given his history, I am not surprised; he does not sound like he had a positive experience with humans, in his past.  Since bichons are companion animals, his natural instinct will kick in with TLC and I expect he will bond with humans who tend to his needs, and allow him lots of lap time.  Since he was punished with a crate in the past, I would not use a crate with him at all, but an x- pen instead.  This will allow him to have a save place when he is left home, yet it will be open and roomy, with his bed, toys, water dish, and a pee pad.

B is extremely obese, and is going to need a diligent exercise and meal plan.  Easy walks, no hills, short at first, but several times daily.  Losing that much weight is going to take about 2 years (maybe longer).  Are you prepared to be out walking in all weather? (Sorry, don't recall what part of the country you are in).  You will need to work up to about 2 miles daily, at least 6 days per week.  To keep both of you involved and not bored, you will need to develop different routes around your neighborhood, and learn to explore parks and bike paths in your area.  So you will be taking him out in the car often to get to the places you will walk.  I don't know if he will need a prescription food for the weight loss, as I've not dealt with such an overweight dog.  Most likely just having him on a high quality grain free food will be sufficient.  Helping this dog lose the excess weight will go a long way to improving his longevity and long term health.  However, some things are not going to be avoided, now, his joints have had to deal with all this excess weight and he is likely going to develop arthritis with age.

You can address the liver enzymes by adding samE and milk thistle to his food daily.  Those should come down to normal within a month of using these supplements. 

Both dogs, being rescues, may have latent health issues.  You have no way of knowing their genetic background, what foods they have had early in life, and so forth.  This is true of all rescues, not just these 2 dogs.

Being me, I'd likely end up adopting both so they had a buddy. eyebrows

Hope this helps!
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2014, 12:25:39 PM »

Sandie, you are THE EXPERT with adopting older bichons, no doubt about it!  I would strongly consider all that Sandie has shared.  I would not be afraid to work with the one that needs the potty training.  That is very easily fixed with diligence: Never allow him to pee inside YOUR house by making sure he gets out very frequently and treating him EVERY time he pees outside.  You can buy a belly band for when he is inside and you aren't closely watching him.  Now, to the overweight bichon.  I would be somewhat nervous of the health effects for this one.  It does get more expensive as they age for all bichons, but one that is so morbidly obese is sure to have many health issues coming.  If you have no concerns about the vet costs for the next 6 or 8 years then I'd adopt both (bichons love a buddy to play with).  If you may have limited funds, the first one would be my choice.  That is my advice (added to Sandie's great advice above).
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Alison
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2014, 06:17:41 PM »

You've had great advice,I hope you find just the right match and come back and show us.Alison
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BichonMom86
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2014, 09:58:32 PM »

clapping Thank you all for the very good advice! To answer your questions Sandie: both are fixed males. P is 5, and B (the obese Bichon) is 8. I thought about it for a long time today and have decided to get the first Bichon, the one with potty training issues. I called the shelter and he is still there!

The agency is a local nonprofit and has a strict 24 hour hold policy, I will have to pick him up on Saturday.Right now I am trying to get things ready for him, which is tough because I honestly didn't think an adoptable bichon would fall into my lap so soon! Sandie: I found a great "playpen" for dogs, that I am going to buy for him to avoid the crate.  Mattiesmom: I have begun investigating belly bands, this seems to be a good option!

thinking He  really needs groomed, the fur on his legs is extremely matted. I am concerned because I will not be able to get him to a groomers until Monday. Are there any thoughts on what I should do on Sat/Sun? Thanks for all of your help!!!!
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Freedom (Sandie)
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2014, 10:41:21 PM »

I buy my belly bands here:  www.pawstoadmire.com  She offers plenty of fabric options, and her price can't be beat, IMO.  I usually buy  4: 1 on the dog, 1 in the laundry, 2 in the closet ready to go.  (I could do with 3, but she sells them at a better price if you get 4, lol).  Note you can't order them until you measure the dog.

Call the groomers as soon as you can, and explain what you are getting and when.  If nothing else, you will have an appointment ready for Monday.  Next: do NOT let his legs get wet until he goes to the groomer.  Water will tighten the knots, and make them pull on the skin.  Let the groomer deal with it.  For now, this dog does not know you, so you need to focus on bonding and positive interactions.  The last thing you need is to nick him with scissors -- I am expert at doing that!

Bichons do best with a harness, not a collar. This is because they are prone to collapsed trachea, so you don't want him to pull on a collar, which hits on the throat. 

Oh how exciting!
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BichonMom86
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2014, 12:17:15 AM »

Thanks Sandie!!! I am really excited, and nervous! I feel like I am bringing a baby home  swing The shelter is not very clean (when I was there he was stepping in/around dog urine that was in the "visiting" room etc), can I wipe his paws with a towel that has soap and water on it?

Great to know about the harness btw! I had no idea about the collapsed trachea; the people who turned him in said something about him not being a good walker, but he had a collar not a harness, this could be why.
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lorraine (Lorraine)
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2014, 01:24:09 AM »

I am sure that wiping his paws with soap and water will be fine until he gets his groomers visit and I imagine they will clip him very short which will be comfortable for him and easy for you to look after.
This is very exciting for you, there will be good and bad days and eventually you will have one of your best friends. Remember they are addictive!  nodding
We will be looking forward to sharing your journey with you, have you thought of a name?
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BichonMom86
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2014, 02:23:44 AM »

Thanks Lorraine Smiley I am thinking of names! Right now I am considering: Louie, Mickey, or Ollie. Mickey is my top choice!
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2014, 09:53:09 AM »

I am excited for you! I'm sad to read about the conditions of the shelter though, by what you said I think you are saving his life  unsure so he is one lucky boy.
He will take a lot of time and patients as it will take time to erase 5 years of neglect but I'm sure he will be awesome once he settles into your home. I strongly recommend you take Sandie's advice and take him to a positive reinforcement training class. These classes are not only for him but for you as you will learn to be the best owner you can be.
Good luck and enjoy!  bouquet
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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2014, 11:21:27 AM »

Best wishes!  Now don't have high expectations for your relationship in the first few days.  If you get over excited you may be disappointed.  Try to calm yourself and do expect there to be problems to overcome.  That way you won't be disappointed and you may be pleasantly surprised!  I'm sure Sandie can guide you from afar if you need some guidance!  Fingers crossed that all goes well!
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BichonMom86
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2014, 12:05:34 PM »

Thank you! I do expect there to be problems. However looking back, I think we will be okay. I spent an hour with him at the shelter and toward the end (he was VERY excited to be around people, he just wanted to run around and dance!) , he calmed down and sat by me and let me pet him. I took him for two walks, which he loved. He loves to go for walks Smiley Looking forward to sharing pictures and more! Thanks so much everyone!
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BichonMom86
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2014, 02:26:02 PM »

 woohoo Well it's official, I went to see my pup today at the shelter and put the money down to hold him until tomorrow when I am picking him up! I took my friend with me, who will be his "Godmother" / Aunt Smiley. He seemed to remember me! Everytime I patted my legs he jumped and danced  fluff !! He was extremely friendly with my friend and I, and seemed less anxious than a couple days ago. I'm super excited!!! I've decided on the name Ollie, the name fits him well and he seems to like it Smiley Words can't describe how excited I am!
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Freedom (Sandie)
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2014, 04:47:14 PM »

Yes as mentioned wiping his feet and paws will be a great idea under the circumstances.  Did you get the grooming appt?

SO exciting to have Ollie come join your family!


BTW, when  dog is new to a family, he acts on his BEST behavior.  This typically lasts about 3 weeks.  After that, it is time to let the real MaGOO show up after that, lol.  So work with him while he is in a good frame of mind, you can do a lot of ground work to make things blend well.

Then, WATCH OUT ha ha haaa.

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BichonMom86
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2014, 04:56:36 PM »

I had no idea! I will definitely stick to focusing on training in the next three weeks.

When I went to visit Ollie today, the adoption counselor said he may have kennel cough and as a precaution they are giving me 10 days worth of antibiotics. So I'm not sure if I can get him groomed until those ten days are up ? I need to call the groomers to find out.
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lorraine (Lorraine)
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« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2014, 05:52:44 PM »

I would not expect the groomer to take him if there is a suspicion of kennel cough as this can be infectious, at the end of the 10 day period of antibiotics get your vet to check him out or even give them a call now for advice.
I like the name Ollie, this will be such an exciting time for you.  original
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BichonMom86
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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2014, 06:01:21 PM »

Thanks, I really like the name Ollie too, it really fits his personality Smiley I am very excited. I really hope they are treating the kennel cough now, I was just reading that kennel cough can get a LOT worse. Right now Ollie is just coughing a bit, he's very happy though, and energetic. I'm hoping that we caught it in time, and he doesn't get too sick  begging
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« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2014, 06:04:42 PM »

Poor thing.I hope its not Kennel Cough.Is he still coming home? I can't wait to met him.Alison
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« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2014, 12:35:36 AM »

Oliver, or Ollie, is here!  woohoo He is a wonderful dog! I found out today that his owners did NOT have him fixed, which explains a lot of the house breaking problems they were having! He never leaves my side. I'm not sure if this is because he is afraid someone else is going to leave him, or if he has already become my "Velcro" pup. I took a shower today, and he came with me! I feel terrible leaving him for a minute, when I do he cries / barks. One thing that I am extremely concerned about is that Ollie will not eat / drink. I called the rescue that I got him from, their emergency number, and no one has called back. He seems to be afraid of the bowls (?), I tried to give him a regular dinner bowl, but he wouldn't drink out of that either. If he doesn't drink tomorrow I am going to get a baby bottle to try to get fluids in him that way.

PS: I keep trying to post pictures, but they are too big :-( I will try to resize and post tomorrow. Thank you all!
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« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2014, 10:08:50 AM »

I am so excited, and grinning from ear to ear! 

Many rescues will cling to the Human who takes them.  He is needy and worried.  You will get used to 'sharing' your bathroom trips, ha haaa.

He was eating and drinking at the rescue, right?  So he can't be afraid of bowls, maybe he just isn't hungry? 

If you get a free account at photobucket.com, you can resize photos on there.  I just downloaded a free resizer app (only takes tiny amount of space on your computer) and do it right on my laptop.  If you use Windows 7, use Google and search: Windows 7 resizer  You will find it.  It is quick and easy to use; allows you to resize multiple photos at a time, not each one individually.

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« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2014, 10:13:27 AM »

Wonderful, I'm so happy for you both!  cheerleader
As for the eating and drinking, not to worry right away, put bowls out where you would like them and just leave them there he will go to them eventually, but, having said that he will probably want you close. I have water bowls on my main floor and one upstairs because my pups follow me around too and they will drink in the bowl closest to me. If I go downstairs or outside for any length of time I put water out there too. Also my pups will not eat if I am not home they like to eat when I am close too. Also I do not have dog bowls for their food per say I use our household dishes they use the fruit nappy bowls from my corning set and I just put them in the dish washer with our dishes, but I have stainless steel water bowls. I'm sure your boy will get used to your bowls.

As for picture you can resize them in photobucket, I can't wait to see some pictures!  nodding
 
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BichonMom86
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« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2014, 10:45:42 AM »

Just an update: Ollie was licking grass from while we were out on a walk, he is loving walks! Every time he sees the bowls (they are stainless steel ) he backs away and cowers behind me. I really am starting to think he associates them with something bad Sad.  My friend / roommate thinks the same. Thanks for the tips on resizing, I will do that today Smiley Alyce and Ollie
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« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2014, 11:59:00 AM »

Some dogs are petrified of stainless steel.  Not sure why.  Try putting the food on a plate or in a cereal bowl.  Water can be in a ceramic dog bowl.  Are you feeding the same food he was eating at the shelter?  You can slowly begin to add some of the food you choose to feed him over the next few weeks.  Good luck!
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« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2014, 01:20:57 PM »

Another update: The shelter called me back. After they told me "no he doesn't have kennel cough, he's fine to go home without meds." They said that he probably has kennel cough, and I should come in right away to get antibiotics and special food for him to eat. If he doesn't eat by 4 tonight, I'm supposed to call back tonight to get scheduled for him to see the vet for an emergency appointment tomorrow. They said he may have to be hospitalized!!! Sad I pray that he eats / drinks something...I really don't want him to be hospitalized. I put the special soft canned food on a plate, and so far he hasn't touched it.
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« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2014, 05:28:30 PM »

I think a vet appointment will put your mind at rest one way or another. I am sorry that you are going through all this worry but I am sure things will work out.  comfort
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« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2014, 06:01:33 PM »

Pictures of Oliver! (hopefully they post successfully Smiley

I have a vet appointment tomorrow at 12, he was able to drink water today so that's a huge relief. Still not eating, but hopefully it's only time before he does.
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« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2014, 07:47:53 PM »

Congratulations  Clap  Kicking on your new addition.  Ollie looks like a real sweetie.... and you did a fine job with the pics!
I Can certainly relate to "bathroom sharing" additionally, my cats also, strictly enforce a no closed bathroom doors policy.  Lol....

I've had my Olivia for a little over a year now but when I first adopted her, it was a real struggle to get her to eat anything.  None of the Vet's suggestions worked and she wouldn't touch any of the food that her previous owners used.---nothing---Vet said she wouldn't starve herself.......  called her a "little Stinker"    I was at my wits end and it went on for quite a while......  I was trying everything, putting down several kinds at the same time and labeling the bottom of the bowls.....So I would know what I put in the bowl.....  She wanted nothing to do with the canned food she was eating before either.......

Finally, I found some canned Weruva Paw licken chicken----Actually stuff smelled wonderful--just like human food.........and she ate it!
It was prohibitively expensive so I started giving her Acana Grasslands dry food and give her boiled chicken and diluted chicken broth toppers and that's what finally worked but it did take some time.

It's alot of upheaval for little Ollie.  I know it's hard for you not to stress about his appetite.   He will eat as he settles in.

It's so lovely being able to share your excitement through your posts.........
 
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« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2014, 09:26:02 PM »

What a handsome boy!n Good job on posting pictures.
I'm sorry to hear that he is not eating yet but not to worry, he will eat when he is hungry.
Make a list of all the questions you want to ask the vet tomorrow, that way you won't forget anything while there.  wink1
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BichonMom86
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« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2014, 01:31:17 AM »

Thank you so much for the support everyone! Ollie finally ate food AND was able to drink water  swing ! My friend and I clapped and cheered as he was eating (he probably thinks we are crazy lol). I am so relieved. He is NOT happy about taking his medicine; but the medicine seems to be helping. I'm still taking him to the vet tomorrow; I want to be sure he is okay and that nothing else is wrong. I guess it wasn't the bowls after all!

Alyce & Ollie  Clap
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« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2014, 09:34:12 AM »

Once I saw the pics, I was grinning from ear to ear.  Hey, YOU have a fluffy white bichon on YOUR lawn!   Clap 

Glad he finally ate.  Moving IS a big upset, it can take time for the hunger pangs to penetrate the nervousness, lol.  You and Ollie should be fine.

It is always good to take a new pet to YOUR vet for a check up within the first 3 days, in any event, even if all seems well.  If the vet finds anything, the rescue usually pays for it. 

Do ask the vet  or a vet tech to see about cleaning his ears, and clipping his nails.  This is something that is a routine, NOT because there is anything 'wrong.'  And, if the groomer doesn't have to do nails on his first visit, that will be fine with her, too!

Since Ollie hasn't been neutered, if everything checks out the vet may ask you about taking a blood sample so the surgery can be scheduled within the next month.  Personally, if Ollie is fine and no kennel cough, I suggest getting this done and over with sooner rather than later.  It just becomes part of the transition, for BOTH of you, and then you have smooth sailing going forward.  Remember, for males this is not invasive surgery, they recover quickly.  Since there is a concern of kennel cough, the vet may say get the blood work now but schedule the surgery for 3 weeks out so we know for sure his is healthy. 

And Lin had a good suggestion, write down all your questions ahead of time!
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« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2014, 12:31:00 PM »

on your new fluffy fluff addition, Alyce!  And KUDOS thumbsup for adopting.
Ollie fluff is adorable! Wub  Can't imagine anyone giving him up (their loss, your gain original).

As Sandie & others have pointed out, you'll hit some bumps sweatdrop along the way.
Not because Ollie fluff is hard to train, but because his previous owners did poorly by him.

But with love and perseverance, you'll both come out tops. thumbup

Let us know how the vet visit went (& continue to post photos pictures)

Sending Bichon hugs Hug & kisses Kiss to Ollie fluff (all the way from Singapore SINGAPORE)
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« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2014, 01:28:04 PM »

Ollie is a cutie! Glad he's eating and drinking now!
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« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2014, 06:23:54 PM »

He's so cute.He must be delighted with his wonderful new home.It just take a little while until he can show you.Alison
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« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2014, 02:22:45 AM »

 Thank You I'm really so appreciated of all the support I've received here! Seeing Ollie sick has been no fun. Today I took him to the vet. The antibiotics seem to be doing the trick. He is a lot more energetic, and eating more  swing ! The vet said he needs to gain four pounds, it seems he wasn't fed enough at his previous home :-( So we will work on that. I will go back in two weeks to see the rescue league vet so he can check on him.

On the very positive side, I had to leave Ollie alone for the first time since I got him (only one hour, not fun!) he was able to get out of the room that I left him in. So when we came home he came barreling out the front door. My friend tried to hold him but he freed himself, and ran straight for me. He didn't try to run anywhere, just wanted to jump and lick my face!! This was probably the best moment of my life; seeing this little white fluff ball barreling towards me excited as could be Love word fluff 

Thanks everyone,

Alyce & Ollie
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Lin
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« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2014, 08:37:22 AM »

WOW~!
Yes Bichons are little escape artists, they will do anything to be with their people!  I'm glad he is doing well.  bouquet
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« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2014, 08:57:45 AM »

and ran straight for me. He didn't try to run anywhere, just wanted to jump and lick my face!! This was probably the best moment of my life; seeing this little white fluff ball barreling towards me excited as could be Love word fluff 

Alyce & Ollie

 yahoo  How wonderful!  You will have this in your memories FOR EVER!!!

Just be careful, one day he will realize Mommy always comes home, and he CAN take an adventure.  So you do need to work on a better entrance.   Laughing  Well, that didn't come out right, NO entrance could be better than that one!  But you gt what I mean, I'm sure, ha haa.
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« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2014, 10:08:55 AM »

No worries  original I understand! I do NOT want him getting out and getting hit by a car, stolen, or lost. I think those are my worst fears. I expedited the order a doggie play pen for him, because his previous owners abused the use of a crate I don't think crate training will be a good idea  No  . Here's what I ordered: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D5P846Y/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1  There were lots of good reviews for it, so I'm hoping it works out well for us!  original
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« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2014, 01:53:35 PM »

 fluffwelcome  Ollie

Congratulations on adopting Ollie.  He certainly is cute  Wub
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Thanks Del
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« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2014, 04:28:05 PM »

Aw,thats so lovely.He has bonded already.I find with my rescue cats they soon gain weight and so will he.

Alison

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« Reply #39 on: June 25, 2014, 08:57:26 AM »

That is a lovely pen you have ordered.  Well done.  I agree Ollie will gain weight with your TLC.
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« Reply #40 on: June 26, 2014, 07:38:28 PM »

Ollie  Love you! This little guy will reward you in so many ways and you will get so much pleasure from him!  original
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« Reply #41 on: June 30, 2014, 02:36:00 AM »

 Thanks Ollie is doing well Smiley his kennel cough is getting *much* better! He really needs groomed, but until the kennel cough goes away, there isn't much we can do (except daily brushing). I just love him to pieces  Love word . Every day I come home he does the "bichon blitz" which is adorable (I have videos already).  SO FAR he has been great home alone! He is never home alone for more than five hours. No potty issues so far  thumbsup (knock on wood!), but I have him on a strict, timed out, feeding schedule so I believe this helps a bunch. Looking forward to being part of this wonderful community, and sharing more about Ollie  fluff
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« Reply #42 on: June 30, 2014, 09:24:51 AM »

Wonderful news, I'm happy to hear Ollie is settling in so well!  nodding
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« Reply #43 on: June 30, 2014, 02:40:31 PM »

That's great progress already.Don't forget we love videos as well as pics.Alison
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