As you know, dear readers, Jason and I took in our first foster dog on St. Patrick’s Day this year (and we even named him Patrick)! He was with us for three months, and when he left Jason and I felt like the house was a little quieter. It had been four years since we had worked with a puppy and our dogs are now at that blissful stage in life where sleeping is the main goal for about sixty five percent of the day (unless there is a yard man near by!)
Another Tbar member, Casie Cooper, brought to my attention a group of dogs that needed to be saved or they faced certain doom. Rescued from a hoarding situation, these dogs were moved into the Sealy pound. Casie shared pictures of the dogs in need and my heart strings were tugged on by the image of a dog cowering in the corner with a hand holding up her little face. I was nervous about taking on another dog as I remembered how bringing Patrick home caused a stir (to say the least) with my corgi mix, Jack. It took about a month until all was well and my dogs became a happy pack. Did I want to do that again? And so soon? I confess when Patrick left I had a good cry but that feeling of helping a dog and a family find each other was such a good feeling it overpowered the sadness. In the end Jason and I knew we wanted to do that again, so I decided to take Kassy.
Kassy was only 30 lbs, smaller than Jack, but by height only, and being female I knew Jack would have less of an issue with her since she was not any competition. Casie and her wonderful husband Cody went to give Kassy her freedom ride. The dog smelled terrible and was so scared she was messing herself and the crate she was in. I have never seen a dog so full of fear. I would liken her fear state to that of a spooked horse. To be safe we carried her in the crate from the truck into our back yard. I could see this new dog bolting and since she didn’t know us the chances of us catching her if she got loose were slim. That alone made me a tad nervous, but we got her into the yard and gave her a bath. It was hard for her to be bathed, and believe me it was for Jason and myself as well, but it had to be done. Not to be too graphic, but she was covered in her own messes. Once inside the house our dogs smelled the cage (now cleaned) that Kassy was in, but they were pretty bored about her arrival into the house. Lucia, our oldest, really could have cared less. Chloe, our middle dog, once again behaved the way she did when Patrick came into the house (Kassy could be a table for all she noticed). Jack, after his experience with Patrick, did so well; no growling, no sizing up, he just smelled her and moved on. I was impressed and so proud of him (I may have sprouted off a few tears). Kassy’s first days with us were surprising calm. At first the new dog made no sounds at all and always wanted to be in her crate. Making her go outside to potty was hard and often resulted in accidents when we would touch her. No eye contact was ever made and she even refused to point her nose in our direction. If we walked near her kennel she would shake uncontrollably and ram herself into the corner as far away from us as possible. All the while Kassy was too afraid to point her body or head at us. I started to sing around the house to get her used to my voice and Jason would talk to her non stop once he got home. Still things were tense, and basic things that many take for granted were hard. Feeding time was a nightmare because she would pee as soon as I went to put her food into the crate. Not wanting her to get used to the smell I would have to get her out of the crate and get her a new towel and wash the crate floor out. Then the struggle of putting her back in the crate started. All the while my other dogs are starting to unravel while waiting for their food. Getting her outside was a chore and I am sure each time I went to let her out I was grinding my teeth. She started to pee the moment I opened her kennel and peed all the way to the door. We had to move all the furniture around in the kitchen to get her cage right by the back door. Success! The new system worked for her and made her feel more in control of her movements but most of all she seemed to feel safe. I started to get a little tense when it was potty time for the pack. Once outside she ran around non stop. I mean she was always moving. Only when she was exhausted would she finally go potty and then she would lay down far away. My dog seemed to sense she was scared and gave her space but I wanted her to have more of a life. I fretted as I watched her on the third day. She held herself differently something had changed. Jason and I were in for a surprise…. To Be Continued!