Greta seems to have enough of mothering

The pups are huge and very advanced! Which is good as Greta seems to have had enough of mothering. I had her outside with me the entire morning (nearly 5 hours) and not once did she seem stressed about being away from her puppies. She ran around joyfully, sniffing and exploring. She tired to get Hermes to play by body slamming into him, but he wasn’t as into being outside as she was. She seemed to thoroughly enjoy herself. In fact, when I returned her to the puppy room I expected her to be happy to see her pups as she hadn’t nursed them at all. However, when I went back into the room a bit later she still hadn’t nursed them! That was at least 7 hours without nursing! And her teats were really taught…I had to rather forcefully “encourage” her to nurse them. Now that she has, she is scratching on the door, desperate to get out again! I think Greta has had enough of mothering.

Chloe returns unexpectedly

Chloe returns

Chloe returns

Our early summer foster Chloe (recently called Amber) is back…it didn’t work out with her adoptive family so she is back here with me. Sometimes this happens. Apparently she was acting very anxious when left alone and actually destroying parts of the house and her crates (yes crates). And I posted about her escape from the second story window, right? Anyway she wasn’t doing well and her adoptive family decided they could do no more for her. I have to respect that decision.

SO…things just got extra crazy over here. But the good news is that the dog I saw coming out of the car – ears flat against her head, teeth bared, growling and barking a warning not to get close, tail tucked hard under her, crouched down low – is not the dog lying here calmly as I write. She was VERY fearful in our first minutes together and didn’t stop barking. I just sat there and eventually she came up and sniffed me, backed away and then sniffed again and looked at me. I said, “yes, it’s me.” She then began sniffing the entire driveway, the whole gangevery inch of it. For once, I let her lead me and she sniffed her way to the puppy pen. Mike brought Willow out and we walked them together for a few minutes and everyone did fine. Then I put the two mamas into the pen with the pups and watched. Chloe’s tail, which was still tucked but less so by this time, sprang right up and began to wag happily…she remembered! You could see her sniffing the pups, remembering puppies but not these puppies…but it didn’t seem to matter to her after a bit. She licked them, sniffed them all over and lay down and rolled around as they crawled all over her – just like she used to with her group. It was wonderful to see. Meanwhile, Willow took advantage of my stationary position and the lack of puppy attention and jumped up on a chair next to me and let me pet and pet and pet her. Everyone was happy. I just sat there feeling happy for Chloe who has had a hell of a 6 weeks…she deserves this happiness.

Chloe and puppies playThe difficult thing for me was that I had second guessed my decision to let this family adopt her in the first place. It is hard not to think “what if I had honored my instincts and said “no” – then none of this would have happened.” I don’t think most people realize the position us “rescue folk” are in – we get these dogs in terrible shape…we clean them up, get them healthy, teach them how to live in a house and give them some manners and just when they are good members of our families we have to let them go…to perfect strangers. We try to screen, interview and I know for a fact that this process of trying to determine a good match really pisses some people off…believe me, I’ve been yelled at a lot more than I’d like to be lately. But we do this to try to prevent the heartbreak that happens when we are wrong…I know that Chloe’s adoptive family is feeling terrible right now. I don’t think there is any easy way to let a dog go, not one that you’ve spent time loving and getting to know. But I just wish there was a way to know for sure if they and the dog will be a good match. I do know that I learn more and more each time I place a dog. And I really do learn more from my failures than my successes…still, I hate to see the suffering.

Chloe relaxingSo, if any of you have to deal with us rescue people, and our annoying applications and redundant questions, please have a bit of patience. We are just trying to do our job well. And if any of you want to give Chloe a second chance at happiness please let H.E.L.P. know…she’ll need a family with a lot of dog experience, one where the main “pack leader” is home full time, and preferably a home with another dog, a high fence, and lots of love.

Mothering doesn’t come easy to some dogs

It has been awhile since I last wrote. I’ve been in a very resistant place regarding this new mama we’ve got. I now think that taking on another foster so soon is extra difficult because the comparison between the dog and puppies that are leaving and the new group isn’t fair…one set is used to your routine and are a known entity, all fun and cuddly and ready to go to their new homes, and the other set is clueless to what you want and skinny and needy and frail…

mamaSo, needless to say this transition has been difficult on me. Added to that this new mama… the name Angel doesn’t fit, I like Angie better, or Daisy May. Anyway, this new dog is really young and doesn’t know what to do. So I was full of resistance to what is…I wanted her to be like Chloe (who I really miss and who was such an amazing mother) and she’s not. She’s not like any of the dogs we’ve had but she isn’t all that bad…but just as I was sitting down to write this, about how our stories cloud our true vision and how when we stop resisting what is, we get all this new energy for dealing with what is…she started drinking the mop water…with bleach in it! So, she is sort of really stupid on some level…or really clueless, a real Daisy May…very sweet and skinny and cute but DUMB.

Ok, no more stories… Here is what has been happening… She seemed to be gaining her mommy legs after the tragic death of her puppy, nursing them well and all that, but then something (more…)