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PEACE IN THE VALLEY AGAIN
9 January 2006
It is amazing to me what a difference it makes having Latte gone.
It's difficult to explain.
Latte is a wonderful dog. She's loving. She's playful. She got along well with everyone. She was the first dog that Kimba actually seemed to be going out of her way to play with. Kimba would follow her around and would seem to actually initiate play with her.
Of course, with Kimba it's hard to tell what is "play," since her play involves snarling and snapping and baring her teeth, but it was just...different...with Latte. More, if there is such a thing, "friendly" snapping, barking and baring of teeth.
After the series of attacks by Sheila, however, whatever caused them, Kimba was a different dog.
She's 16 years old, so you don't exactly expect her to act like a youngster, but overnight she became an old lady. It was as if she has been the top dog around here all this time and suddenly she realized that she was not top dog any longer.
After the third (and worst) attack, and after Latte left, Kimba took to her bed and wouldn't come out.
I fed her dinner in bed. She didn't get up to pee.
At some point the next day, she finally got up and moved to her safe haven under my desk. I gave her breakfast in that "cave." She did, at one point go outside.
Then she retreated to her bed. She didn't even get up to have water, though I could see she was thirsty. I brought her water to her bed and she licked it off of my fingers.
Yesterday morning she didn't get up for breakfast, even though she could see me feeding Sheila. Mealtimes are always Kimba's brightest times. I decided not to feed her in bed. Things had been calm for 2 days and she had been out walking around, so I wanted her to get up on her own.
I had the feeling that she might be dying.
Around 2 p.m., I was walking through the family room and saw that she wasn't in her bed. I checked under my desk and she wasn't there either. I found her lying on her third place to be, the top of the stairs. This was a good sign.
She didn't come down for dinner, though, and I fed her upstairs. When she heard Sheila (who hasn't touched her since Latte left) on the stairs, she stopped eating and turned her back on Sheila. She didn't eat again until I moved the food around in front of her, where she couldn't see Sheila.
We went out to the theatre last night and just closed off the stairs. I really didn't think there would be a problem between the two dogs any more, but I didn't want to chance it.
When we got home, Kimba followed Walt down the stairs, drank about a quart of water and went outside to pee. Then she settled herself under my desk, as if nothing had ever happened. When I stood up, she got up quickly and headed out into the family room.
I actually sat in my chair for about 20 minutes until I knew she was asleep before I got back up to finish writing my review. She was by then asleep and just slept through the night.
(it's beginning to sound like I'm writing about a toddler!)
This morning it was as if nothing had happened. Sheila jumped up to let Kimba know it was breakfast time (though I note she was careful not to actually touch her). Kimba got up, tail wagging, and followed me into the kitchen and then did her half-jump up when I went to put her bowl down for her.
I notice she's a bit more cautious, but she appears to have gotten back to normal, and the relationship between her and Sheila seems getting back to normal again too. She even wags her tail again, occasionally.
And all's well that ends well. Latte has found herself a new home. I was at placement and saw the couple that adopted her who, coincidentally, live walking distance from here, so I have suggested that we arrange play dates for Latte and Sheila.
PHOTO OF THE DAY