Sonny Boy, our 2-year-old American Foxhound and Little Prince has been living "the life" in Southern California for a little over a year now. Here's a guy who was picked up as a stray and who, prior to rescue, clearly had NEVER lived in a house. After he arrived at our house, it took about six hours for his "inner Prince" wake up. This is a hound dog who can barely bring himself to sit on the floor -- ever -- let alone sleep on it. Everyday on the walk, someone tells him how handsome he is. And, of course, he knows it's true, so it's easy to get him to pose for photographs. We think he belongs in a Ralph Lauren ad. He thinks so, too. I guess we'll have to find him an agent.

By the way, Sonny is as sweet and kind as he can be and so full of life. Imagine if Tine Kellogg hadn't pulled him out of that high-kill shelter in Merced, CA, posted his photo and bio on the web site and then fostered him until we found him? Hopefully more folks will be able to step forward and foster. We love doing it.

Thanks so much for all you do,
Kathryn & Mike

25 January 2010

Here are the latest photos of Sonny Boy. The first shot was taken in our backyard. The photographer was eating and Sonny was working him for a bite. Too bad I don't have some audio to send of Sonny's commentary.

The rest of the photos make up a sequence taken in the North Hollywood Park last Sunday morning in Dog School. Our homework assignment was to teach our dogs a trick. Sonny did "shake." The first photo is my husband, Mike, Ladybird, Sonny and me waiting for the vote to be tallied in the Trick Contest . Ladybird is really good with "stay" and "heel." Sonny's great with "sit," "down," "'wait," "shake." Birdie won't shake to save her life. In fact, she wouldn't do a trick. She's nearly 10 and considers herself retired.

In the second photo, Sonny's name has been called. He tied for 2nd place in the contest and is running to grab his prize. That flat box in the third photo has squeaky toys, kongs, balls, etc. He took a little time and nosed around in the box. Didn't find anything he wanted.

Then, in the fourth photo, one of the teaching assistants offered him the "Treat Bag." He nosed around this bag a bit faster, then chose a green rawhide thing. (The teacher is the woman in the center with her hand to her face. She loves Sonny Boy and regularly uses him to demonstrate how to teach the dogs to do the new behaviors. He immediately does whatever she asks him to do. He'd be great in an infomercial.)

In the last photo, Sonny has just grabbed his treat -- very politely -- and then turned around to take it back to his spot on the lawn.

They graduate next Sunday. It's a LONG way from the High Kill Shelter in Merced, CA. Hooray for Coonhound Rescue and the Kelloggs for saving him. Lots of Fairy Godmothers in Sonny Boy's life!

Best regards,

22 May 2009

I told Sonny he could sleep on the bed after it was made. He said he didn't mind sleeping on the sheets. What a flexible dog.

On his first full day with us, he climbed into my husband's lap and we thought: "Isn't that sweet? He wants to sit in his new dad's lap." Yeah, right. What he REALLY wanted, was the chair. In less than a week, it became known as Sonny's chair.

Sonny and Ladybird (our 9-year-old Redbone) sunning on the back porch. She makes him work hard for her attention. Except when it comes to food. This usually ladylike, courteous girl leaped in front of Sonny & successfully grabbed a treat in mid-air that was being tossed to him. He never even growled.

For a couple of weeks, Ladybird thought Sonny got all the good bones. You can see her own bone behind her. Same exact bone as Sonny's. Just not as good.

So elegant -- even when he's standing in the laundry room on a dirty towel. No one would guess by looking at that face and that pose, that he actually is a PUPPY!!! At his introductory vet appt., I was informed that he is closer to a year old. At best, a year-and-a-half. He pretty much keeps that fact under wraps, except at home.

He's also a BRILLIANT athlete. This boy can moonwalk & hop backwards on his hind-legs, a discovery that led him into new realms of counter-surfing. We call it window-sill-surfing -- caught him on the way down to all fours with a bunch of green bananas in his mouth. He's a good sport when we separate him from his treasures, absolutely confident that he'll live to surf another day. So far, it looks like he's become willing to admire the things that aren't his, from a respectful distance. We'll see.

Ladybird has been afraid of strangers, esp. men in hats and dark glasses, ever since we adopted her in the Fall of 2007. On the walks and when people came to the house, she barked wildly and just generally freaked out. Since Sonny has arrived, this behavior has begun to resolve, esp. on the walks. He greets everyone with a smile and a goose. She hangs back, watches a bit and then inches up to get some of the attention for herself.

Sonny's learned to Sit, but has not responded to 'Come.' He also could walk better on-leash. He starts Beginning Obedience in 2 weeks.

Many thanks to Tine & John Kellogg for rescuing & fostering Sonny Boy and getting him to us so easily. He is learning quickly, in spite of his native stubbornness (read that as 'houndly persistence'). We just LOVE this rascally-rascal!! What a character he is behind that elegant facade. Thanks for all you do.

Best regards,

4 January 2009