Flossie is as you may have already read in my previous post The Story Of The Dumped Dog That Has Found Her Forever Home, a stray that we were originally only fostering for two weeks until she recovered from being spayed, but she was so sweet we decided to keep her.
How Flossie Has Settled In…
I can’t believe that she has been with us for around two months now. In that time she has become best playmates of our youngest Yorkshire terrier, Alphie. In the evening when the temperature has dropped they chase around the house and the garden like mad dogs, tackling each other down, playing tug of war with the toys and being the energetic, carefree little dogs that they should be.
Watching them play is a pleasure and I will never understand how or why people can just dump dogs, without a second thought.
Two months ago Flossie was a sad little street dog, that cowed down and peed herself when she was petted. You would never believe that she is the same dog, although she still pees herself a little when she is excited and if she is told off. I promise you we don’t beat her, but sometimes we have to speak to her in a stern manner to prevent her from doing somethings that she shouldn’t be doing, but on the whole she is a good dog.
Things She Has Learned…
Flossie is an intelligent little dog, she walks nicely on the lead – most of the time anyway! She actually belongs to Greg’s and he takes a little time each day to teach her basic commands. It’s as good for Greg’s as it is for Flossie as Greg’s is different from most boys his age. If you are interested to know why you can read this post: Finally We Have A Diagnosis For Our Son.
Greg’s has taught her to sit, lie and come. At the moment he is trying to teach her to wait for a command before eating a treat or her food, he is slowly getting there.
We don’t allow her on the beds, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to ‘worm’ her way onto the beds to snuggle down. She is very clever about it, but at least she gets down when she is given the command ‘off’.
She has learned that she gets walked most evenings and gets fed twice a day. When we feed the dogs we make them sit and wait before letting them ‘dive’ in. Our other dogs, which we have had from puppies, will patiently wait for the command, but Flossie wiggles and squirms like she has ants in her pants – that would be if she wore pants.
She has learned not to dive in, but she cannot just sit and wait patiently like the other dogs. We realise that maybe she never will be able to contain her excitement for food as there may have been days when she didn’t get food. We know that when she was living outside the shop, she was fed and watered by our neighbours, the shop owner and us, but before that we have no idea of what her life was like. We can only guess.
What The Vet Has Told Us…
Flossie has had two lots of vaccinations and is due one more lot in a couple of weeks. We have also had her micro-chipped with Greg’s named as the official owner, which made him feel special, he even paid for it himself. Her spaying and first lot of injections were paid by funds raised by the Three Doggy Ladies – I really must write a post about them!
The vet originally thought she was about eighteen months to two years old, but now he believes that she is probably nearer a year, which we agree with just from her behaviour. She acts like a young dog even though she was on the streets for six weeks at least. Usually street dogs lose their puppiness more quickly than pet dogs as survival their instincts kick in.
We noticed that when Flossie runs she will sometimes lift a leg up and sort of hop and skip on the other three legs, so we asked the vet to check her over. What he told us horrified us; apparently she was shot! She has small shot pellets lodged in her leg and head. I had noticed small lumps on her head, but thought they were just small lumps, it never occurred to me that they were shot pellets.
Since finding out that she has been shot we have discovered more shot pellets on the joint of her back leg and on her inside thigh too. Luckily she is not in any pain, even when she skips it’s not like she is in pain, it’s more than likely that she has shot embedded deeply into that leg that makes her hop and skip when running. She can jump cleanly out of the window from the floor, which I am sure she wouldn’t do if she were in pain – we live at ground level, so it’s not a problem.
The vet is happy to leave the shot in her as she it obviously happened some time ago and not limiting her abilities as a dog.
What We Have Learned About Flossie…
We have learned that she is a happy, gentle natured dog, that has manic moments. She just wants to be loved and fussed and will literally melt into whoever is giving her a hug, it’s like her bones go soft.
We have our suspicions as to why she ended up being shot at. We live in a village where people still keep goats, sheep, rabbits and chickens, not as pets, but as a way of feeding their families and making some money. We think that Flossie is a chaser. We think she would chase and kill a chicken given the chance, as she gets overly focused when she sees a cat or a chicken and will pull on the lead making desperate little whimpers. She also gets a crazy look in her eyes.
If she was caught killing chickens then the chicken owner would have more than likely tried to shoot her.
We have let her off safely away from the temptation of small moving creatues and even then she was chasing and bounding after butterflies. Our other dogs will get tempted by a chicken close up, but won’t be tempted to chase one a distance away. We think that Flossie would be over in the next field if she saw a chicken in it.
At the moment the fields are out of bounds as it’s summer and the fields are where the snakes live, so we let them live in piece, so we can’t really work on the issue.
Flossie seems to have a strong chase instinct, so maybe it will be difficult to train it out of her, but a glimmer of hope came yesterday as I was feeding our not so friendly stray cat. I feed him out of the way of the dogs, but still like the dogs to be inside or they go mad. Yesterday Flossie jumped through the window and joined me just as Morris, the stray cat, came into view and she went mad. I reprimanded her with my voice and she went all floppy like she does and had a little pee, but then she settled down and just lay there and watched Morris eat – okay, so she still had that crazed look in her eyes, but she was in control of herself. I let her sit for a while before praising her and heading back indoors with her.
That gives me hope think that we can teach her to be more in control of herself, but the real test will come in the autumn when we head back up the fields.
Once again I have waffled on far longer than I intended, but if you got this far thank you for reading. Do you have any stories you can share about rescue animals? Please feel free to share them in the comments below.
Copyright © 2014 Debbie Roberts
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