Sunday, July 6, 2008

Foster Dog Diaries - Day 16

It's been two weeks since Ms. Daisy's arrival. About a week after we got her, Evan posted her ad on the CDRN website. We didn't even need it though because I was able to interview a home that had contacted me several weeks ago and it seems like a perfect fit! Daisy will most likely be headed to sunny Southern CA to spend her days with a single retired woman. I couldn't have thought of a better situation for her. The only downside is the retirement will not start until mid-August, so Daisy will be with us for several more weeks. Oh well, it gives us more time to get her in better physical condition and work on her manners a bit more. Daisy has taken well to raw food and about 50% of that heavy plaque build up on her teeth is gone now.

After a couple of doses of the first homeopathic remedy that was prescribed for her, we realized it was not the right one. The only thing it did was turn the mildly annoying whining into a feverpitched screaming every time she was left alone. After 2 days of this, I was ready to kick her out the front door and frantically contacted my homeopath. We came up with another remedy and this one seems to suit her symptoms (screaming, dog aggression, inability to be alone, anxiety, stress etc) and we saw an improvement within minutes of her getting her first dose. The biggest signal that we had given her the right remedy was soon after her first dose she was laying next to Evan. Daisy, in the previous weeks, had shown that she was VERY territorial and possessive of people and places, such her crate. We called Marley towards her (our alpha) and Daisy very appropriately kept her tail and head down and scooted out of her way. Success!

A day or two later she and Camber were upstairs and I guess Camber (the sweetest pup in the world) wandered to close to Daisy who was near Evan and Ian and she trounced Camber. Camber has never encountered such an inappropriate display of dog behavior retaliated quickly but they both stopped when we yelled. Camber has held that grudge ever since so she and Daisy cannot be left alone. To compound that relationship, Camber is our lowest ranking dog right now and with Daisy coming into the house their would already be tension between these too as Camber doesn't want to be ranked lower than the spayed newcomer. We simply don't leave them alone, though I have caught Camber nipping Daisy's but when she walks by. Other than the raised hair between the two younger girls, Daisy is getting on well with the other dogs and has even been caught trying to play with Isaac.

The excitement for the week was definitely the night Evan, Ian, and our friend Kelly and I went for our usual walk to see the horses around the corner. We left Daisy alone upstairs and when we came back she greeted us in the front yard. She had broken through the screen in our living room window. She was so thrilled to see us, she came running right up and Evan carried her back in. Thank goodness she didn't go off exploring and she came right too us. From now on windows are opened from the top only.

Speaking of Isaac; We've had a very brave and rather annoying deer visiting our yard recently. She stands about 10 feet from the dog fence casually grazing, while 5 crazed dogs hurl themselves against the fence barking wildly. The deer is not concerned and she shows up at least twice a day. After about 2 weeks of this, we put Isaac's ID tags on and took him out back. I focused him on the deer and let him loose. He chased her off and then I called him and he came running back. As a reward we played tennis ball with him, but Ian was begging to take him to the river in our back yard for a swim. As we made our way down to the river, Isaac either saw the deer or picked up its scent and he took off. He's been gone about 1.5 hours now and I am starting to get a little concerned. He's 10 years old and a good scent dog so I am optimistic that he'll come back on his own. This didnt' stop me from driving the neighborhood a few times to see if he emerged in someone else's yard, but fingers crossed that he comes back soon.

(Updated: Isaac returned 2 hours later, still carrying the tennis ball he took off with. He sauntered up the hill rather slowly so he was probably running full tilt for the entire two hours. I just gave him a dose of arnica (for muscle soreness) and will put him to bed now.)

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