LEXIE63   49,687
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Mixed bag of a week so far...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Twinkle is doing ok for the most part. Less accidents in the house, and more garden business. She loves the area of the garden where we have put bark chippings, and is using it for her toileting. Accidents in the house have been few and far between the last couple of days, and the positive reinforcement is definitely working to my mind. Though I did not know whether to laugh or strangle her a couple of hours ago. I was steam-cleaning the carpet to get rid of the doggy smell, Twinkle came up, sniffed where I'd just cleaned, and deposited a nice fresh wee to re-stink the area!

*grits teeth*



Anyhoo...

I consulted with a friend of a friend who heads a dog rescue in Cornwall, and she not only condemned the Wagtails boss for her advice to use a dog crate as a punishment, but also gave me some excellent advice on how to help Twinks through this blip.

I took great delight in texting Corinne and telling her that Twink was accident-free the night before last, thanks to POSITIVE reinforcement, NOT punishment! Would have spoken to her in person, but the woman never answers her phone!

I have put Twinks back on Bakers dog food. It is what she was being fed when she arrived, but some people consider Bakers to be really bad, so when Corinne insisted I switch to James Wellbeloved and Chappie I did it, even though Sophie ate Bakers for ten years and was fine on it. Thing is, I think that was when Twinkle's fussy eating and dreadful stomach noises started. She has been back on Bakers for three days, and her tummy and eating is back to normal, and she shows no signs of the health issues some people claim Bakers causes! I'm thinking that sticking with Bakers would be best for her, but I will chat to the vets and see if I can get any samples of other food to see if she likes them. I can't afford to spend lots of money on food she may not get on with.

The garden is getting there, but it is very stop/start now that we are nearing the end, which is getting very frustrating. Joe is trying to juggle several different jobs at once, plus he went down with man-flu last week that didn't help, and right now I am sitting here with a small amount of paving still to finish, a half-completed potting shed roof, no potting bench, and half-filled raised veg beds. *sigh*

As for the planting, nothing doing at all as yet. But I have treated myself to two plants: A beautiful red-leaved Acer (Japanese Maple), and an Olive Tree. (Remember the Greek Myth about the naming of Athens?)

www.greek-gods.info/greek-gods/posei
don/stories/poseidon-athena-contest/


Had to have one of those in my garden! In fact, I couldn't believe that it was sitting there in Waitrose today, when I went grocery shopping. :-)

But hey, I have lawn! :-) And it will be ready for its first cut in a couple of weeks:



I also have several packs of veggie seeds: beetroot, runner beans, kohl rabi, carrots, courgettes, parsnips, fennel and cauliflower. Plus the inevitable basil. YUM! I'm pushing my luck with some of the growing dates, but as spring was a late starter anyway, and is still way colder than normal, I may get away with it, if only Joe can get the rest of my beds filled with compost.

I'm going to be using the Square Foot Gardening method:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/All-New-Square-F
oot-Gardening/dp/1591862027

Wow! The possibilities for exercise in the garden are endless! From strength training - lugging bags of compost and full watering cans, and working your core bending to plant, and reaching for tools, to the sheer number of steps involved in wandering around nurseries and shops in search of the ideal garden goodies. :-)

In other news...

My central heating has packed in. I put the boiler on to do the dishes last night, and it started making alarming gargling noises, and most of the radiators won't heat up. Council coming tomorrow, hopefully to fix it. Not holding my breath, though. I've been waiting nearly two months for them to fix the fence at the bottom of the garden, and this isn't classed as an emergency because we still have hot water.

To try and be more environmentally friendly in the fizzy water department, I bought a Sodastream. You get around 60 litres of fizzy water out of one gas bottle (for 10 after you get your discount for returning the gas bottle). So works out a lot cheaper, once you recoup the cost of the purchase. 16.6 pence per litre with sodastream, versus 50 pence per litre for the little plastic bottles I used to buy. So, saving the environment AND saving money! Win Win!

PLUS...

They sent a selection of flavourings with the sodastream, and I was disappointed to see that almost every flavour has artificial sweeteners in it. But hey, it keeps me from drinking them, and helps me stick to my water. :-)

Dinner tonight was grilled salmon tail with heritage baked potatoes and cute little baby carrots. Yummy! Yes, there was a little butter and cheese involved, but not too much. :-)

Exercise was Step to the Beat. I've been playing this every day since 13th March! I am close to completing my third island, and I've really loved the game, as you can tell. :-) Most days I walk at least an hour, and never less than 20 minutes. I do that so I can play hangman on Sparkpeople, which is annoying because I keep forgetting to make my guesses these days. *shakes head* My brain is largely bent around the garden design, the dog training, and studying my new professional software for cross stitch design.

There really are way too few hours in a day these days. :-)

12 stone 10 lbs and holding this week. Crept back up to 12:12, and started to worry that I was going to see 13 stone on the scale, but fortunately I gradually slid back down 1/4 lb by excrutiating 1/4 lb.

Water consumption is steady, but I miss a bit on the veggies from time to time. I love that even when I have no time to track, most of the rules are coming naturally to me now.

Right, must dash! Got a dog crossing her legs, and I'm also gasping for my bedtime cuppa.
Catch you later!
Hugs,
Lex xxx
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOREGRET2010 6/2/2013 9:43AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Go you!

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ARTJAC 6/2/2013 5:50AM

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SENATOR9 5/31/2013 8:54PM

    Good for Twinkle

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BOVEY63 5/31/2013 5:01PM

    Twinkle is doing well because she has wonderful you who had patience!
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Will be doing my second mowing this weekend. A couple days of rain and it has grown like crazy!
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CARLA-216 5/31/2013 2:03PM

    I'm glad Twinkle is doing better. I've full confidence you will have her sorted completely real soon.

I can't wait to see your finished garden! So exciting!

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CARLA-216 5/31/2013 2:03PM

    I'm glad Twinkle is doing better. I've full confidence you will have her sorted completely real soon.

I can't wait to see your finished garden! So exciting!

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MAURIZIA 5/31/2013 6:54AM

    Wonderful to read that Twinkie is doing so much better with your positive reinforcement...which we knew, right? And she just needed to remind you who's boss when she's around...hence, the wee when you cleaned the carpet!

Your garden sounds so lovely. Wish I had someplace to raise some of my fave veggies. Alas, not to be. I live vicariously through your blogs and Wanda's about your gardens.

Have a lovely weekend!

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RAINBOWCHOC 5/31/2013 3:34AM

    Flower does really well on Wagg or own label from Aldi or Lidl. She's full of bounce and her teeth are not covered in scale. She occasionally gets a bit of left over gravy poured on it but otherwise survives with "council pop".
I'm in awe of the garden project, I've just bought solar lanterns to improve our vista, the garden looks great in the dark!
Happy weekend to you all and I hope the boiler gets fixed soon
big hugs

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NEW-CAZ 5/31/2013 2:57AM

    WOW you have been busy, no wonder you've been posting on the feed only of late.
Glad things are gradually turning around for Twinkle. You're a good mum to her and your hard work will pay off, I just know it!

Have a great weekend Lex emoticon nice to see you posting emoticon

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_LINDA 5/31/2013 1:36AM

    Wow! So busy! Glad to hear you are getting on all right and getting better advice for Twinkie! Two steps forward, one back, just like the rest of us Sparkers trying to keep to our new habits!
Have a great weekend!
Hugs,
Linda xxx

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ANNEMAC5 5/31/2013 1:02AM

    What a busy girl you are, nice blog. Lots of info for me to go back and check out. So glad Twinkle is doing better, horrible to think of been put in a crate as punishment for accidents. Glad you were able to get helpful positive advice from your friend. I put my kittens onto Felix cat food although it was expensive mostly dry food that was suggested that they have. My previous cats survived on standard common tins.
Well still waiting for Spring...we did get the grass cut a couple of times but I have bedding plants to put in not any veg in this garden but hope you get yours done the way you plan
Glad you are enjoying your exercise and you are like me weight crept up but so grateful for each oz that helps me get back down. emoticon emoticon

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DWSCHUYLER 5/30/2013 8:44PM

    This was the 2nd time I heard the one about the mood ring today. Still laughed just as hard! Sounds like you are staying busy! Have a happy Friday and weekend!

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SHAWFAN 5/30/2013 8:33PM

    So glad you found someone else to give you better advice for Twinkie, and so glad that she's doing much better. Have fun in the garden! emoticon

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LOVESLIFE48 5/30/2013 6:32PM

    I'm so happy to hear Twinkie is doing better!!! WooHoo!!! Everything else will fall into place my friend!! Enjoy your cuppa and have a nice evening!!! emoticon

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Not impressed at all!

Monday, May 27, 2013

So, when I tell the rescue centre boss woman that Twinks (our foster dog) has been having some 'accidents' in the house, the woman tells me no one will want her if she does that, and that dogs get put to sleep if they mess in the house! Then she tells me to get a crate for her and shut her in it for a week except for bathroom breaks to fix her!

Comments? Because I am beyond disgusted with the woman!



Incidentally, my way of dealing with it:

I have smothered the bathroom floor in puppy training pads, because that is where she has her little accidents. sensible dog really, using the bathroom! And I have a can of that spray for outside that you spray where you'd like them to do their business, which works when the gardener doesn't go and put smelly varnish cans in her spot! And she gets lots of praise when she does it outside, but does NOT get told off if she has an accident. Plus I have a steam cleaner which fixes any smells and overspill from the pads. I was, frankly, horrified by the woman's attitude, and especially as it came from someone who supposedly cares about rescue dogs!

I reckon with a lot of patience, positive reinforcement, and dog treats, she will get past this little blip.
Hugs,
Lex xxx
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DUSTYPRAIRIE 5/30/2013 4:18PM

    omg. seriously? we have a dog that was abandoned who still has accidents. i would hate to think that would happen to him in that situation.

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CING56 5/30/2013 7:17AM

    How can they put someone like that in charge of a rescue centre? She sounds horrific. I hope things go well with Twinks! emoticon

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_LINDA 5/29/2013 1:36AM

    Wow! All I can say is Twinks is lucky to have you fostering her! Hope your method works and she learns! You are awesome!
Hugs,
Linda xxx

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2ABBYNORMAL 5/29/2013 12:22AM

    Twinks sounds like a lovable companion.
It's great that the business is being done in the bathroom. I find that quite considerable.
That woman should be fired.
I trained my Sophie to ring a bell hanging on the back door when she needs to do her business.
When I'm not home, I tell her to kennel up and she goes in her kennel knowing it's not punishment. Just waiting for mommy to get back home.
Good luck!
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BOVEY63 5/28/2013 5:22PM

    Your attitude is much, much better. Good thing Twinkle is in your care!


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CARLA-216 5/28/2013 1:36PM

    I've never had to potty train a dog, so I don't have any advice. [Charlie came to us from a foster home who did all that "dirty work." ;) ] I think the way you're handling it is good, and you've also received some good advice of other things to try. It irks me that someone with a rescue would have that attitude. If anything, they could take her off the list of dogs available for adoption while you tend to the potty training, and then put her back on when she's sorted.
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MAURIZIA 5/28/2013 9:01AM

    OMG! OMG! OMG! That woman needs to be fired. Geesh!

As someone mentioned, Twinks' history and what may have happened can be responsible for her behavior. Has she been doing this since she arrived? If not, then I think a vet visit is in order to determine if she has a bladder infection that can cause it.

Your plan is excellent! I remember reading somewhere when I first had kitties that it does no good to scold because they don't know for what they are being scolded and it just frightens them into doing the behavior even more. I commend your patience.

Hugs to you...and the kitties send headbonks to Twinks.

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SENATOR9 5/28/2013 8:48AM

    Don't give her back.She will be train emoticon

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FOXFIRENDTS 5/27/2013 11:35PM

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IDLETYME 5/27/2013 8:38PM

    That "Woman" better not ever show up at my house or she'll be in a cage except - MAYBE for a potty break!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon She doesn't need to be working at a rescue center! emoticon

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BESCATS 5/27/2013 6:54PM

    She is a rescue, and heaven knows what she might have gone through. With love and patience, she will learn. Also, have you checked with your Vet to be sure she doesn't have a urinary or bladder infection ? This can cause problems. You can also try moving the puppy pads (little by little) toward the door, and she may get the idea.
At intervals, ask her if she needs to "go pee pee", or whatever words you may use, take her out, reinforce why she is there, and have those praises and treats handy.
Big hugs and kisses help too !!

Good luck. Oh yes, that woman should be fired. Locking her up would only make her more nervous.

Comment edited on: 5/27/2013 6:56:10 PM

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LEANNAW4 5/27/2013 6:03PM

    I agree with others and you that your approach is best. Certainly, the rescue centre boss has the wrong idea. I'm sure there are people out there who would bring a dog back as "unadoptable" if it had accidents, but those clueless people should not be allowed to adopt in the first place. Good luck, and give Twinks love from me, too!

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WENDYSPARKS 5/27/2013 4:57PM

    emoticon

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ARTJAC 5/27/2013 4:34PM

    SHE IS JUST LIKE A BABY WHO HAS TO BE TOILET TRAINED emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RAINBOWCHOC 5/27/2013 3:21PM

    I'm afraid to say I would make sure the woman thinks the dog is perfect, we all make mistakes and genuine pet owners are cross with themselves not the animal. Does the woman have a "superior" who needs to know about the attitude?
Flower sends her love to Twinks

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CAT-IN-CJ 5/27/2013 2:46PM

    Worse problems than that have been overcome with some good old fashion love 'therapy' . . . . apparently the rescue center boss wouldn't have a clue about what that is. I'm wondering if she took that position for the paycheck!

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SHAWFAN 5/27/2013 2:40PM

    I think Twinks is cute, and that woman should be ashamed of herself! Twinks just needs tender loving care is all. Take her out often and clean up after her using the urine spot remover that is out on the market. Wishing you the best of luck with her. I could never foster. I would end up keeping them.

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UNICORN212 5/27/2013 2:26PM

    You can leash her to your belt so you can watch her closely. Take her out when she wakes up, goes to sleep, after meals, and every hour in between until you know her signals. I have three chihuahuas and they are the toughest to potty train. One still has an occasional accident. And we have a dog door! But it can be done.

Clean the indoor potty spots with either vinegar or the purchased enzyme products to kill the odor or she will think that is the place to go.

Good luck with her - she is very cute. I could never foster - I would end up keeping them all!

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0309COOKIE 5/27/2013 1:55PM

    I think at that point I would be forced to keep Twinks for myself. That is probably the harsh reality that they would put the dog to sleep for going in the house if no one wanted her. We do, after all, live in a disposable society. Twinks is very cute, btw.

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LOVESLIFE48 5/27/2013 1:47PM

    When we potty trained our puppy, we took him out every hour. When he went he got a treat. At night we did lock him in a dog crate until he was potty broke.

I wish you the best of luck wtih Twinks!!

If I can help in any way, let me know!! Hugs!! Lyn

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NEW-CAZ 5/27/2013 1:46PM

    words fail me Lex. Surely there's a way to train her!! Has she been checked over for any medical problems?The alternative does not bear thinking about emoticon

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LOSE4LIFE47 5/27/2013 1:44PM

    AWWW!!!! That is too sad!!

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Here's Twinkle!

Friday, March 29, 2013

She took to Tara straight away. :-)





So far, Twinkle has had a nice romp in the garden, and a walk to Highwoods, and we already have an enquiry for her. We bumped into a lady I know, and she is looking for a companion for her 2 year old staffie, who is completely deaf. The two dogs were playing nicely at Highwoods, so we are arranging some play dates to see if they continue to get on, and if the lady's hubby takes to her.

Keeping everything crossed that Mumbles (the Staffie) can become Twinkle's new best friend, and maybe give her a forever home and a doggy companion to help her get over losing her brother.

Oooh! I just discovered she understands 'paw'! :-)

Happy Easter!
Hugs,
Lex xxx
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMEMINE1 5/12/2013 6:43PM

    emoticon

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LEANNAW4 3/31/2013 8:30PM

    Love her! She is such a cutie!

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SENATOR9 3/30/2013 10:16AM

    emoticon Have yourself a great Easter

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LOVESLIFE48 3/30/2013 8:23AM

    She is so cute!!! Thanks for sharing!!

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ARTJAC 3/29/2013 11:53PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LYNNA1968 3/29/2013 10:24PM

    make sure its an open adoption so you can get visitation emoticon

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_LINDA 3/29/2013 9:09PM

    Awww such a sweetie!! I hope you have found a forever home already because boy, could you become attached to that gorgeous face so quick!!
Have a fabulous Easter weekend!
Hugs,
Linda xxx

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2ABBYNORMAL 3/29/2013 7:49PM

    Twinkle is so cute! I hope that everything goes well all.
Best wishes!
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SUNNYBEACHGIRL 3/29/2013 7:42PM

    Too cute


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SHAWFAN 3/29/2013 4:40PM

    How wonderful! Hope all works out! emoticon

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MARGARITTM 3/29/2013 3:48PM

    Adorable

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ANNEMAC5 3/29/2013 2:46PM

    hello Twinkle, nice to see you.


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KJDINSC 3/29/2013 2:31PM

    She is precious!


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BOVEY63 3/29/2013 1:48PM

    Twinkles is so adorable. Sure hope all works out and she has a forever home soon.
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CARLA-216 3/29/2013 1:36PM

    How sweet! She is such a pretty girl!

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MAURIZIA 3/29/2013 1:05PM

    Awwww, Twinkle is so darn cute!!! How wonderful it would be that she and Mumbles become siblings. Fingers crossed.

Give her a head scratch from across the pond!


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NEW-CAZ 3/29/2013 12:57PM

    Welcome to your new home Twinkle!

She is adorable!

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Shopping for foster dog stuff is fun!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Twinkle, the little dog I am about to foster, has no worldly goods to speak of, so she will be turning up with only has a collar and lead to her name, so that was all the excuse I needed for a little doggy-related shopping! :-)

Brand new food and water bowls...



Cupboard full of doggy noms and treats...



New extending lead and harnesses...



And some new friends for her to play with. If she gets particularly attached to any of these she can take them to her forever home with her, if they survive that long! LOL



Ok, so I got a little carried away, and she may not like everything I bought, but future dogs may if she doesn't, and I made sure to get the food she is used to eating, so her diet won't be affected.

Getting quite excited now. We are expecting her about 11am tomorrow.
Hee hee,
Lex xxx
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BOVEY63 3/29/2013 1:46PM

    So excited for you, Tara and Twinkle!

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FUZZIEBEAR3 3/29/2013 12:19PM

    I can feel the love already. Doggie kisses and cuddles.


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LDYCHIEF 3/29/2013 11:22AM

    A new love is coming... emoticon

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SENATOR9 3/29/2013 9:34AM

    I think he might enjoy is new stuff

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CARLA-216 3/29/2013 9:29AM

    I'm so excited for you, and for Twinkle! She's going to love living with you and Tara while she waits for her forever home.

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ANNEMAC5 3/29/2013 9:15AM

    OK you should have your furry friend now, hope all goes well and you will make a great foster mum. Love all your shopping.
I am getting 2 rescue kittens in 2 weeks and they are with their foster mum till then, I have a list of kitten shopping to do. emoticon emoticon

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KJDINSC 3/29/2013 7:50AM

    What a great foster mom you are!

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GARDENCHRIS 3/29/2013 7:25AM

    foster dog?? from a shelter??

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NEW-CAZ 3/29/2013 3:59AM

    You are so thoughtful! She will be made to feel at home as soon as she sets foot over the threshold.
Love the toys.
Hope she settles in quickly Lex.

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SHAWFAN 3/28/2013 11:02PM

    How thoughtful of you to get her things to get her used to the changes. Hopefully all the love you have for her will bring her out of her depression. God bless.

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GOOZLEBEAR 3/28/2013 9:34PM

    Love your pictures and blog! So glad you will be getting a foster dog and I know she will love all the goodies you have bought her!!! What kind of pup is she? My Jack Russell loves her toys but always gets rid of the squeakers!!!! Have a wonderful time with her and I hope she gets a great forever home.

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ARTJAC 3/28/2013 6:33PM

    LOOKS GOOD BRING ON THE DOG YOU ARE PREPARED FOR HER

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LAC936 3/28/2013 6:12PM

    Sounds like an adoption is in your future.

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LOVESLIFE48 3/28/2013 5:55PM

    I'm excited for you!! I know she will get lots of love and attention!! You are the best!! Enjoy!! emoticon

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ELLELEANN 3/28/2013 5:14PM

    How sweet of you to shop for Twinkle! I hope one of those toys lasts long enough for a forever home. I know they wouldn't in our house, lol.

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CLARAELIZABETH1 3/28/2013 5:11PM

  That is WONDERFUL that you foster dogs!!! Little Twinkle is very blessed! Speaking of blessed, have a safe and blessed Resurrection Day! HE IS RISEN!

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THE_SHAKESHAFT 3/28/2013 5:10PM

    Can't wait to see the dog!

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BRANDIW7 3/28/2013 5:09PM

    Congratulations on your new foster dog! I hope everything goes well. Watch out, it is easy to get hooked on fostering!

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SUSANELAINE1956 3/28/2013 5:09PM

    How sweet. Enjoy the foster dog. emoticon

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MAURIZIA 3/28/2013 5:05PM

    I'm betting Twinkle will love her new dinnerware and toys! Can't wait for an update about her arrival!

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It's official! I am getting a foster dog! On Friday!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Oh my! I am getting my first foster dog on Good Friday! Poor thing has rather been through the mill lately. Very sad. This is her:

www.wagtails-rescue.co.uk/rehoming/t
winkle-240213.php


She is looking for a permanent home, but will live with us in the meantime, as long as she settles in ok, which I think she will.

I'm excited, but also a little nervous, as I've never had a dog with the view of moving it on to a forever home before.

Please wish Twinkle a lot of love and luck as she could really use a good forever home soon.

Hugs,
Lex xxx
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEANNAW4 3/31/2013 8:24PM

    She's adorable! I'd have a hard time giving her up! Loved the Maxine quote!

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ANNIE924 3/28/2013 7:46PM

    You are doing a good thing. Good luck with your temporary dog.
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THE_SHAKESHAFT 3/28/2013 5:09PM

    That's such a great thing to do. Hope the foster dog fits in :)

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MAURIZIA 3/28/2013 4:47PM

    Oh, Lexi, Twinkle is so darn cute! How sad that she is separated from her brother. :( How lucky to be fostered by you. :) Enjoy her and hoping she finds a forever home soon!

Buona Primavera! (Happy spring in Italian...just adding an international twist to your page!)

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MARIONJEANA 3/28/2013 3:50PM

    She's lovely! Hope she finds her forever home soon.

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BOVEY63 3/28/2013 12:28PM

    Twinkle is one lucky dog to be fostered by you!
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CARLA-216 3/28/2013 10:59AM

    Bless you, Lex!
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SENATOR9 3/28/2013 10:23AM

    Rescue a pet is always awesome Good luck emoticon

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JSALERNO 3/28/2013 6:54AM

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RAINBOWCHOC 3/28/2013 4:21AM

    Good for you, I'm sure you will become a family in no time. Flower sends her best regards.

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NEW-CAZ 3/28/2013 4:06AM

    aww Lex she's adorable. It's a great thing you're doing. I'd love a dog but DH is set against it.


She's lucky to have you as her mum emoticon

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ARTJAC 3/28/2013 2:20AM

    HOPE SHE FINDS A GOOD HOME

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_LINDA 3/28/2013 1:29AM

    That is very awesome you are taking this poor dog into your home. I agree fostering would be very hard when it came time to give her up :( Very sporting of you to agree to do this! Hopefully she can settle with you soon. Enjoy, she will keep you hopping ;)
Hugs,
Linda xxx

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LYNNA1968 3/27/2013 8:58PM

    awww what a cutie! I hope she finds a good caring home soon. She's lucky to have you

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GWTRIKER 3/27/2013 8:13PM

    Twinkle is so sweet looking. I agree, fostering would be hard because thy will leave. I fought against a dog, but now I cannot imagine myself without Tink.

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LOVESLIFE48 3/27/2013 7:43PM

    She is adorable!! I know she will get lots of love!! emoticon

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FUZZIEBEAR3 3/27/2013 6:37PM

    Awww, so sweet. I think fostering a dog would be even harder than adopting, I wouldnt want to lose her again so soon. You are obviously a very special and caring person to take this dog into your home. I think she will give you lots of exercise!


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SHAWFAN 3/27/2013 6:23PM

    Sending good thoughts your way that Twinkles takes to you quickly and that she finds a good permanent home soon. emoticon

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PARKERB2 3/27/2013 6:17PM

    Gpod jokes and the dog is a pretty thing.

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