NOTE: I’m working on several videos to add to this post when they’re done.
Selma arrived mid-day yesterday. We were the solution to an emergency situation: for Selma comes with baggage and a reputation. I don’t know much for sure, but it seems Selma came into rescue from what was probably a hoarding situation. I know she has siblings that will be coming into the program and none of them have had any socialization or training. Selma’s behavior shows she has (in the past) been abused or at least severely neglected. She has had at least two fosters before coming here and they have housebroken her and worked through a lot of her issues — but not all her issues. Her previous foster went on vacation and asked a friend to care for Selma. Her friend works days. Selma does not like being left alone and destroyed the house. And it’s a rental! The landlord insisted Selma leave immediately. She ended up here.
Selma desperately wants attention, but is at the same time timid to the point of fearfulness. When I approach to pet her, she drops to the floor, and rolls on her back to say, “I submit, here are my soft underparts: kill me if you want, but please don’t .” If she’s like this now, I can only imagine what she was like when she first came into rescue!
I was told that Selma’s separation anxiety causes her to go into Tasmanian Devil Destructio Mode when left alone. Crating her alone in the bunkhouse at night will probably result in the destruction of a crate and much of the bunkhouse interior. I’m told she is housebroken. I am told she likes to play with other dogs — but she has NO “off switch”. I am told that she hates being crated and gets vocal if forced into it. My plan for her first night with us, since it is WAY too cold to leave her outside in her kennel and her bunkhouse mate has not arrived yet, was to crate Rebel in the living room (because he likes sleeping near me), put Selma on a tether in the living room and I’d go back to sleeping on the sofa. I’ve been doing this with Rebel (first in a crate then on a tether) for the better part of the past two months. Only a week ago did he earn enough Good Boy points to join us in the bedroom so I could sleep there too.
However, Callie and Josephine (on the left) decided to make this little gathering into a slumber party by joining us. If what I was told was true then if I tethered Selma to the sofa leg she will want to play with these girls, not sleep. So no one would get any sleep. I put Selma in a crate and parked it right next to Rebel’s crate. Neither was happy about being crated, but because I too was right there with them, they accepted it and did pretty well. In fact Rebel seemed to be calming Selma (see Rebel’s section below). Each of them needed to go outside a couple of times during the night and things got a bit vocal then: when one left, the other cried.
Since I do not yet know Selma’s traits or tendencies, I did not want to turn her loose to run around in the deep dark outside like I do Rebel, so with her, I had to put her on a leash and go out into the 20-something degree cold with her. Fortunately she did not dally.
It’s warmer now and will get warmer yet, so Selma, Rebel, and Lennon (who arrived this morning) are all in their outside kennels and getting acquainted. With a little luck, Lennon will keep Selma company enough that both can be crated in the bunkhouse at night from now on.
Lennon arrived a day later than what was originally planned, coming in early this morning because of MLK Day and NAC being closed, and because of other scheduling changes that included plans for Max, Tiny, and then Selma.
Lennon is a young Black Lab with no training … need I say more? If you know anything about Labs, you know they are energetic, enthusiastic, and goofy as all get-out. If trained to channel that enthusiasm into proper activities they make great companions for an active household, especially one with kids. When not trained, they are … a handful.
When we arrived home from Newport Animal Control, I leash walked him around in the yard for a while, then put him in his kennel. I rolled him over and checked his neutering incision: it looks great! So I took off his cone. When I stood up, he stood up on his hind legs and HUGGED me, “Thank you, thank you, for taking that horrible thing off!”
Hello’s between the three kennel dogs were loud and enthusiastic, but it’s quiet out there now as all are laying in the sunshine and enjoying the rising air temperature.
Lennon has an appointment at Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital on Thursday the 24th (the day after tomorrow) for an exam to determine if his skin grunge is mange, and if so what type, and to have a hip x-ray to check for dysplasia.
Rebel was not happy about the change in sleeping accommodations (he loves sleeping in the bedroom with the rest of us), but has decided to take the new little girl “under his wing” and make her feel welcome. It really was touching to see the way he’d come lie next to her crate, sniff at her, talk to her, and try to comfort her. They will probably make great playmates: both have an almost limitless supply of energy, as long as it remains play. Sometimes exuberant play degrades to violence when one of them gets pushed beyond his or her comfort zone.
Everyone comments on how good Rebel is looking now that he’s put on weight. And he does, he’s a handsome boy!