Happy Monday 😀
And welcome to the 2nd part of Phoebes Story.
Phoebes Story: Part Two
I remember that drive home from the SSPCA so vividly.
I was driving, it was a crisp day, autumn was on it’s way. Lord Geekus sat in the back with her, to keep her calm; the shelter had no idea how she would be in a car. Initially she kept her face and paws on his lap, enjoying the cuddles. Slowly, after opening a back window for her to have a sniff, she stood up and positioned herself into a sitting position to hold her head out. He was so nervous! It was so sweet.
From that first car trip, her love of the car window has only grown and grown!
Those first few weeks were just…a blur. So many trials and errors. In a lot of ways a rescue dog is very similar to a puppy. You need to get to know each other, train and build trust.
She barely ate anything and barely left my side, I don’t even think she did any ‘business’ at all in those first days.
We had decided on the name Phoebe before we picked her up. Surprisingly she started responding fairly quickly to the new name. I suspect she has had many in her lifetime. Some basic calling her name and giving her a treat worked well enough. Now she responds to Phoebe, Pheebs, Beep Beep, Phoebadoor, fluffy-butt, Princess Fluffy-Butt, Hey!, Mrs Wiggle-Butt….the list goes on.
Walking was straight away the biggest issue to get over. It turned out to be an issue that was more challenging than we had initially realised.
We got her a a haltie and short lead. She pulled, a lot, which is to be expected. But it was the encountering other dogs that was the challenge. Immediately we realised that there was no safe way to walk her around other dogs.
There were farmers fields with paths beside our house, which was a good place to take her, but faced with an on coming dog and walker, the haltie just couldn’t cut it. She would work herself up into such a frenzy, even just seeing another dog a field away. I wasn’t strong enough, but Lord Geekus had his own methods.
A headlock. Yup.
Now, there might be many out there that disagree with this, but I stand by how we handled her. If passing another dog was unavoidable, taking her to the edge of the path and holding her in place with an arm around her chest was the only way to do it that ensured the other dogs safety.
Honestly, there were so many days in those initial months were we just felt like we’d bitten off far more than we could chew.
But it was clear how much she needed love, and how much she had to give.
We had a neighbour who we became quite chatty with, and they had a young Scottish Deer Hound called Flora. Every time they walked past our fence, Phoebe would jump up and be desperate to investigate. Our neighbour suggested introducing them, just to get it done so that it might abide both of their curiosity.
This was something we hadn’t considered. I don’t know how I’d live with myself if she seriously hurt another dog, she is our responsibility.
Our neighbours came over for a chat, it was quite official almost. We had fully disclosed Phoebes tendencies, and problems, but we could all see just how lovely natured she was with people and I guess there is a part of me that was sure she was afraid and defensive, rather than rage fuelled aggression.
We agreed we both had pet insurance, we would be standing by to grab Phoebe as soon as things looked off, and Flora was fast!
I don’t think I has been as tense even before Uni exams! My heart was barely beating.
Find out in Part Three how Phoebe and Flora got on 😀