Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pebbles

This summer, my older son got to spend a month with my parents.  My boy has always been a pet person and it wasn't long after I left that he started bringing one of the dogs in to sit with him and sleep with him at night.  ...I should probably mention she's a daschund, so it's much easier to cart her around.  About a week before I came to bring him home, while talking to him one evening, he asks me if he can keep said dog.

Mark and I discussed it and I had three questions for my Mom:  1.  Is she spayed? (I don't keep viable pets.  Every pet I've ever owned was spayed as soon as they could be.) 2.  Is she house broken?  and 3.  Is she up to date on her shots?  The answer to all three was yes.

When I talked with my son, I told him that she'd be allowed to come home with us, but it was conditional:  She would have to get along with our other animals-- all 3 other dogs, as well as our grumpy old cat.  She would have to get along with his brother and us as well.  And she would have to learn our rules.  If she couldn't pass any of these tests, she would have to go to a shelter because we couldn't make the 12 hour drive back to my parent's house.

She traveled beautifully all the way home.  And the day we got here, we got her a name tag with our information and made sure our yard was likely to contain her (meaning Mark filled in the holes by the fence that the other 3 dogs have been digging off and on for the last 3 years.)

She's 5 years old.  My mother had only had her for about 6 months.  Previous to that, she was at a puppy mill.  There's no telling how many litters she was forced to have before she was rescued.  She's skittish and frequently scared.  And previous to my parents, she had almost no human contact.  While with them, she got used to sitting with people and allowing them to touch her (she's still not a fan of being picked up) and my son taking her out of the dog house every day brought her even further along, socially.  My parents told me that she never barks and she never jumps up.  You have to put her on the furniture.  She has to be brought in and out and she has to sleep with someone at night.

Her name is Pebbles.  We've now had her for 2 1/2 weeks.  She gets along beautifully with all four of our other animals.

Yes, that is indeed, the cat's tail across her nose as she lays by my side.
She jumps up on the furniture if she wants there and comes outside or in when called.  I have to admit, it helps that going in and out are really the main 'commands' we have for our dogs.  And it sounds like this, "Critter, critter Out-side!" or "Critter, critter In-Side!"  I use this phrasing so often, my boys use them as well.

We do have to put her under a laundry basket to eat.  That was one thing I had to call my Mom about on the second day we had her-- she wasn't eating.  She was used to having a bowl of dog food on the porch that was always full of food-- and she would only eat when no one else was around and if she thought no one could see her.

But I can't do that at our house.  For one thing, we have a dog that was a starvation rescue and she will eat and eat and eat (and throw up in the yard) and just keep eating.  If we tried that, Pebbles would literally starve to death.  And for another, our pets have to be on a routine that works with our schedule.  I feed them twice a day.  Once when we get up, and once in the early evening.

We had to put her under a laundry basket with her food to prevent her from running away.  For the first week, we had to put an empty cooler on top of it to stop her from escaping.  This week, we don't need the cooler any more, and she's emptying the bowl every day now.  And eating while I and the other animals are in the same room.  She's making some serious progress!

The fourth day we had her, I heard her bark.  She only does it when she's outside with the rest of our dogs-- and only to bark at other dogs outside of our yard.  For now (;  We're fairly certain our girls will teach her to bark at squirrels and deer, and fighting cats, and strangers-- eventually.

She's definitely bonded with her boy.

See her snuggling under his arm while he and his cousin play Fusion Frenzy?

She's looking at her boy waiting for him to come to bed and turn out the light for the night.
And I think she's settling in quite well.

We'll make a Wise out of her yet!

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