Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Testing The Waters For A New Dog

No, I have not died.
Just busy, and not much to say.

What follows is my report to my sister on my visit to a rescue kennel to inquire about a Great Pyrenees dog.

I just got back from the SPCA Kennel in Pisgah, Alabama.
It is about 80 miles away.
I met "Perl". (her name given by the kennel).
I went into her "cage" and sat on the floor by the gate, Perl stayed
outside in her little area.
She wagged her tail tentatively but would not come closer than about 12 feet.
She has a very raspy bark, but did not bark very much.
The manager/lady gave me some doggy snacks to use to entice Perl to
come nearer to me.
I sat there for about an hour and she (the dog) would come no closer
to me than about three feet, and then only to quietly pick up the
treat and take it outside to eat it.

Finally, I gave up.
The dog was obviously sweet and wanted to engage, but was scared or
shy and was uncomfortable around me/stranger/male(?).
If I lived closer and could come over every day or so for a week, I
felt that we could gradually bond, but that was not possible with the
distance as it is.

The manager offered to bring the dog into the lobby.
I agreed.
She said I would have to help her carry the big dog through the rear
kennel area to the lobby.
I agreed (suspicious that the dog, who did not want to engage me alone
would allow me to touch her and carry her hind end).
But the dog allowed us to pick her up and carry her into the lobby
with no problems.

Once she was in the lobby she was a different dog.
Her tail wagged off and on, she sniffed around a bit (there were
several cats in cages in there).
The lady broke out some kind of doggy snack that looked like a baby
hot dog. (different from what she gave me in the kennel)
She fed Perl a couple of bites then she gave it to me and I broke off
a bite and offered it to the dog.
She ate it out of my hand immediately.

Soon, Perl was allowing me to pet her (gently) all over her. (head,
ears, neck, chest, back, hips, etc)
She had a serious case of fleas, but was otherwise in good shape.
She does NOT like a leash and wants to pull away when one gets put on her.
But Perl was well behaved even when distressed.
She reminds me of Sally in her coloring.
I told the lady that I wanted to think about whether to take her or not.

In anticipation of a possible transfer, the lady took Perl into the
washing area to give her a bath (she needed it...)
Just before she took the dog into the wash area, Perl was standing
next to me, with her head pressing against the side of my leg,
allowing me scratch her head and ears. (was this a "bond"?)
While the lady sprayed the shampoo on the dog, she stood quietly in the wash area,
enduring her bath.

I am scared to take this animal.
I am not sure why.
It is clear that she needs some training and some time to adjust from
a bad beginning, but she is clearly a sweet animal with a calm
I argue with myself - what's not to like?
All we need is some time.

As much as I wanted to treat Sally right, I feel a double
responsibility to rehabilitate "Perl" if I were to adopt her.
We do not know all that she went through as a puppy other than she was starved.
At the best, she was just neglected.
She has no scars to indicate any worse treatment.
This weighs on me - irrationally, I suspect.
The good news is, dogs don't expect much others.

Stay tuned....


~ NappyMama ~ said...

So, is Perl now Patty? Or is this a different dog altogether?

Paw said...

"Perl" is Patty.


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