January 14, 2017
The family that owned Zip packed up and moved, leaving Zip behind. When the neighbors realized that no one was coming back for little Zip, they took him in with the intention of finding him a new home. The comment was that Zip was a neglected puppy. He doesn’t have any behaviors that lead me to think he was abused, and so, I think he was just . . . neglected. Forgotten, left in the backyard. The owners didn’t care about him anymore.
Zip made a long transport ride up from Kentucky, staying overnight, passing through the states under the careful and loving hands of our volunteers, melting hearts all along the way. Zip appears to have loved the ride and all the attention. He was transferred to my care at the state line, and settled in quietly for the last leg of his trip. At first he sat up to watch the road, but the day had been a long one. Finally, he crumpled under the weight of exhaustion and fell fast asleep.
The first order of business was giving him a bath because whew! He was stinky. I took him straight to the dog wash and scrubbed him thoroughly until he smelled nice and clean again. Little Zip took the whole thing like a trooper. He was quiet and kept watching my face to make sure that everything was going to be ok. Then I brought him home.
Yes, Zip is little, young, and weighed 25 lbs. I’ve spent these past two weeks putting weight one him, and today I took him to the vet for a weigh-in. He has put on 5 pounds and looks just about right for his height and length. He is still slender, but it looks appropriate for a puppy his age. When he reaches adulthood, I think he will be no more than a 40-pound Border Collie.
Zip is housetrained. I wasn’t sure at first and started the housetraining all over again as though he hadn’t been taught: I fed him and then let him out 15 minutes later. Sure enough, he had to go. After that, I asked him, “Zip? Do you have to go potty?” and took him out every hour. Job accomplished, praise and a treat, and we were back inside. Eventually, I noticed that he would wander quietly through the house. When I asked, “Zip, do you have to go potty?” He would run to the backdoor. He is housetrained.
Zip is also crate trained. All I had to do was toss a small handful of kibble into the back of his crate, then close the door behind him. He runs to his crate now and has no trouble crossing the thresh hold. He walks fairly well on a leash except that he tends to step over his leash, getting a leg or two on the wrong side of it. We are working on this. The more familiar he is with the route, the better he walks. He was a little too interested in passing cars and trucks. I’ve paid close attention to this, worked with him, and during the past four days, he has given up noticing them.
Zip loves, loves, LOVES toys. He especially loves squeaky toys. He likes tennis balls too, but he’s not getting any because he tears the yellow fuzzy cover off and then tries to eat it. Therefore, no tennis balls for Zip.