Monday, August 25, 2014

New Fur Buddy?

A couple of weeks ago, as I was letting our (indoor) dog out for a potty break, I spotted a stray dog behind our house. He was eating the cat's food and there wasn't a cat to be seen!! We have over a dozen or so cats, so this in itself was pretty weird. Usually you can't walk down off our front steps without tripping over the kitties!! :)

So I got Gracie back in the house without her noticing the other dog. She is almost 12 years old and doesn't notice things like she used to. And the I went out to see if the other dog was one that I recognized or not. We really don't have neighbors, only a few houses here and there and most of them are not being lived in right now. However, the dog was gone when I went back to check things out.

Gracie (the yellow lab) with Titus when he was still alive.
The next day I noticed that the cats were all up in the trees, and they couldn't hardly be coxed down. I would see the dog off and on and this went on for another day or two. We started feeding him once we knew for sure that he wasn't hurting the cats, they just didn't like him (which is good to know since they are so very friendly with Gracie, but we have coyotes out here and we didn't know if they would be scared enough to get to shelter). The dog was super scared of us though, he would watch us very carefully, but if we moved even a little, he would run off.

'Spades' sitting in the shade of the storage building.  He's made friends now with a few of the cats.
It took a little over a week before my dh was able to get him to come up and be petted. He still will only let our dd walk up to him to get petted or to feed him, he stands off a ways with me, but if I stand still he'll come up to me when he's ready. We have learned to show him our hands and make quiet slow movements and that seems to be helping him feel safer. Now we are starting to work on introducing him to Gracie. Last night was the first time dd was able to get Gracie to be calm enough for the other dog (dd is calling him Spades) to come up and sniff around. Gracie loves all animals (you should see her touch noses with the neighbor cows!!), but she gets really excited and that scares 'Spades'. I think we are gaining his trust a little at a time, but he is still very nervous. Makes me wonder why since he does have a collar on (no tags and the collar has a piece of broken rope tied to it). We've asked a few people if they know who's dog this might be, but we are being careful since it looks like he might have been abused. We will be glad to keep him if we can't find an owner, but we are torn on how hard to look for that owner.

He's getting a little better at trusting us:) You can see the piece of rope hanging from his neck.
Dd is also working on getting him to not be afraid of the leash. He was terrified of it the first time she took it out. We won't chain him up, he'll be free to have the run of the place and he has shelter in the lean-to if he needs it, but we may have need to take him to the vet or something like that in the future, so it would be good for him to not be afraid of the leash if we need to use it. So far he has shown himself to be a very sweet dog and I'm hoping we can either find his previous owner or gain his trust so he feels safe here:)


Mouse said...

awww bless his cotton paws ... he is a gorgeous furbaby and you seem to be doing all the right things to get him to trust you ... ((hugs)) and glad that you are going to keep him too for his new forever home :) love mouse xxxxx

Christine Barnsley said...

He looks a nice dog. Hope you can get him settled... either find his owner or keep him and settle him into the family. :)

Pull the other thread said...

Aw what a sweet little face. If he has been out 'wild' as it were for a while now that may have made him fearful. I hope he comes to trust that you are friendly and only want to help, very soon.

Anna van Schurman said...

Looks a little like a border collie. Are there sheep farms around? A trip to the vet might help you find the owner if the dog is microchipped. I hope everything works out for the shy guy.