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OUT OF THE FOSTERING BUSINESS
7 February 2006
Kimba has been so terrific lately. You'd think she was a whole new dog, with 10 years removed from her. She's now down to her "fighting weight" and somehow having the spectre of Latte removed and things going back to the way we were perked up her spirits considerably.
She follows me around, wagging her tail (something that hasn't happened in a long time...years, perhaps). She dances on her hind legs when she knows she's going to get a treat. All the cute little things.
Things have been so good that when Ashley had an emergency come up and she needed a temporary home for Molly, I thought it would be a good idea to try again. It wouldn't be like it was with Latte. It wouldn't last for long. As soon as Ashley had taken care of the emergency that came up, she would take Molly back again.
Molly was described as "3 years old, LOVES to play, is housetrained, crate trained, and the sweetest thing you could ever meet. If anyone can help me out please let me know. She does fine home alone, she does fine with big dogs and small dogs."
Ashley and Molly arrived around noon. She's about Sheila's size and was a little skittish. Ashley said that there had been an altercation with the dog Ashley had to take in on a temporary basis and Molly had been hurt, but they had cleaned the wound and she would be fine.
But she was just skittish enough that she wasn't ready to race off with Sheila. She wanted to be cautious.
Sheila was overjoyed to have a friend here again. She invited her to play over and over again. It was so cute watching her crouched down inviting Molly to play, then running around in circles, getting toys to give Molly. When Molly stopped to eat grass, Sheila stood next to her and ate grass too (which she never does). It was like she was thinking that if this dog thought grass was good, she'd be willing to try it for friendship sake. (She ended up vomiting it back up again. So much for trying new stuff because your friend likes it!)
Molly was still nervous around big Sheila, but she didn't feel threatened by little Kimba, who was also wandering around. Ashley picked Kimba up for a bit, which got both of the bigger dogs intrigued. Sheila jumped up to Ashley and tried to get to Kimba. Then both of the bigger dogs sat on the ground watching Ashley carry Kimba around.
When she put Kimba down, Molly went over to her to invite Kimba to play. But Kimba was already on her guard and she gave Molly her warning growl.
That was all Sheila needed. In a second she was on Kimba again. It was the Latte situation all over again. I felt terrible that it happened, but glad that Ashley was here so she could see it and understand what had happened before.
Ashley got Sheila in a death grip and Kimba retreated into my office to hide in her cave under my desk.
We sadly agreed that as nice a dog was Molly was and as well as she and Sheila would probably get along, that we could not take her. Ashley says that now that Sheila has gotten used to the idea of going after Kimba when there was another dog around to give her moral support, she would probably continue to do it.
I told Ashley that it was obvious that we couldn't do any fostering again unless it was puppies (though since we haven't had puppies in such a long time, I can't even be sure that Sheila would be her usual maternal self if I had a litter here again).
So we are out of the fostering business while Kimba is still alive.
She's 16, so she isn't likely to live that much longer and I don't want her to end her days terrified that Sheila is going to attack her.
Ashley put Molly on the leash and led her off.
Now that they are gone, things are back to normal. Sheila is lying down at my feet, Kimba is in her cave and peace reigns once again.
Sheila has ruined any chance of having a playmate come to spend time with her again. I wish she could see the cause and effect--how she has such a wonderful time with a playmate but ruins it by attacking Kimba.
But as much as Sheila understands some things, she's only a dog and this is a concept that eludes her.
I'm just hopeful that we haven't set Kimba's "recovery" from Latte back several weeks.
I just happened to catch the entire interaction on video--from Sheila's trying to get Molly to play with her, to the attack on Kimba. Needless to say, the video ends very abruptly.
something new with this video. If you click on the picture, it should open
a pop-up window with the movie in it; if you prefer it to open on a new web page, you can
click on the "download" option. I'll be curious to know if people have any
problems. It will stop and start until the whole movie loads, so once the popup
screen shows up and the movie starts to play, I recommend putting it on "pause"
until you see that the whole movie has loaded.
PHOTO OF THE DAY