I picked Tawni up from the shelter today. We decided to hang out on the Shore for awhile, so headed out to Holly’s house to play in her backyard. (Holly is my pet-sitter so it’s very important that they form a bond.) Tawni was a little nervous when we first got to the house but as soon as she decided that the yard was okay, she was all over the place exploring and sniffing and trying to eat grass (but at least it didn’t make her throw up!).
Then we went to my store and sat in the parking lot for about 30 minutes. People were coming and going, there were cars in the parking lot and zooming by on the street, and everyone wanted to stop and pet her, and while she was nervous, she did great. I have high hopes that it might not take that long to get her socialized.
Unfortunately, she has come from a bad situation – her five siblings and herself were rescued from a hoarder who kept the puppies confined to a kitchen for the first six months of their lives. She has missed that crucial socialization period of puppyhood which is why she is so nervous at everything. Her reactions today showed me that she is willing to trust me, though, and that is a great place to start.
We came home and I ‘umbilicaled’ her – I have a 15 foot leash that is wrapped around my waist and attached to her so that she is constantly under my control, albeit having some room to play or wander. This is to help with housetraining and also to keep her out of trouble while she acclimatizes to living in a home. It also creates a safe place for Andy because she cannot chase him.
Speaking of which, Andy hid himself in the closet or under the bed all day, up until this evening when he ventured downstairs. Tawni and I have been snuggling on the couch and he has come down three times so far to sniff around and to eat some food. At one point he jumped up on the back of the couch and the two of them sniffed noses. It was so cute! Hopefully that means that the adjustment period won’t be that long – I didn’t expect any contact like that between the two of them for many days yet.
I also introduced Tawni to her crate today. I’m not an advocate for crating as an ongoing strategy but again, to assist in housetraining it will be invaluable. She did not want to go into the crate of her own accord but once I scooted her in, she didn’t try to escape. I did three sessions of about 15-25 minutes each and didn’t even hear a peep out of her. I wandered around, banged in the kitchen, went upstairs to give Andy some loving, and she just lay down and was patient. That is a huge relief off my mind because I didn’t want to think of her hating the crate while I was at work.
I have a short video of her playing with her stuffed squeaky soccer ball but the cord is too far away and she has her head pillowed on my foot at the moment, and I don’t want to disturb her.
I am still absolutely and completely head over heels in love with her.