Life’s busy here at Chez Nous….I’m home after a day of work, it’s winter, it’s cold and Scout’s ready to play. She grabs the ball and flings it around, she gnaws the green plastic turkey and it’s really time to play, we get ready to go out walking and now it’s on…..we’re down to the park, down by the water and it’s fun and good and part of the day…it wasn’t always like this…this little girl came to me from Jack Russell Rescue and I must admit I was a novice when it came to rescue dogs. Adopting a dog takes a special kind of commitment because there are many unknown elements at play and you have to be prepared for a few surprises. I had just lost my Jack Russell Quinn before adopting Scout and we’ll talk more of that in a later post, and it’s something we have alluded to before…I was in a state of shock and grieving ….Scout was a little dog on death row, she had been scheduled to be put down at the pound and she was taken from there to Jack Russell Rescue. When I went to pick her up from Jack Russell Rescue she was very sick with kennel cough and very subdued and timid. I didn’t know her history. She had a fluffy pink vest on to keep out the cold. Initially I thought I would just view some dogs and see how I felt about taking a new little dog home, but when I saw her and met her I simply put her in the car and took her back to a different kind of life. I thought…she’s not like Quinn , I didn’t know what to do…she was sick and I’d just nursed a very sick dog until she died. I was afraid this new dog would die too because she couldn’t stop coughing…we were all in a state of flux. I think that we think it’s a very noble thing to adopt an animal but it’s something you have to prepare for and get your head around and then and then and then it’s the most beautiful and rewarding thing you can do and somehow there’s a kind of magic that is woven when you least expect it. Scout didn’t know how to go out walking on the leash, she didn’t know how to socialise with other dogs initially, she was ready for a fight, she got spooked when other dogs played rough, she had massive separation anxiety…I didn’t know what had struck…I didn’t think I had it in me to persevere. I became anxious and so did she. I thought I would have to give up…I set up a program of training on the leash, getting out the door, leaving her on her own and gradually socialising her to other dogs…mitigating any damage when necessary. I play music at night and it soothes her. She loves to play and so at home she is allowed to indulge in that and this was one of the best things for her…learning how to be her and butting up against some boundaries set in place. We can now go out into a park and I can let her free to play with other dogs and there are no fights and she feels comfortable…she loves to meet and greet. She stops when I ask her to…mostly anyway, she is a Jack Russell after all! She loves to play with other dogs she feels comfortable with and dogs teach each other, setting the boundaries and determining the rules. We have the advantage of living next door to another Jack Russell, Little Bear and they love to play…Quinn my older Jack Russell set up a few boundaries with Bear when he was small and now Bear is doing the same for Scout. Dogs teach each other and learn new things….Scout has blossomed and is feisty, quirky, young and naughty…all the qualities you should expect to see in a young dog. We walk and she has learned to sit at kerbs, she waits for her treats, she sits and drops and is comfortable in her own skin. She laughs and plays and is healthy and you really can’t ask for more than that eight months down the track from where we were and she was in the pink vest…..here she is learning, initiatiting and playing with one of her best buddies Little Bear…he loves it too…ahh my life as a dog!
Adios until next time…..and happy playing