This is Pepper. Pepper is a hound/shepherd cross. She is in her sixteenth year. She was adopted from the Cowichan and District SPCA a few years ago, but her adopter fell on hard times and has recently been living in a car. Yesterday, she brought Pepper to the SPCA, no longer able to look after her.
The SPCA is full to the brim, and a week or so ago, I told them to call me if a dog came in suitable for me to foster - easygoing, good with dogs and cats. So they did.
When I got the call about Pepper, I agreed to meet her but also knew I would have to be strong enough to say "no" given Charley's recent health problems. (Charley, by the way, is becoming very adept at finding her way around without her vision, and at the moment is almost as steady as before the neurological incident. ).
So, I put on my suit of armor, and locked my emotions up in the closet, and headed off to meet Pepper, fully expecting to give my regrets and come home without her.
Well! Ms. Pepper had other ideas. All she had to do was bat these big eyes at me
and give me a big smiley face
|Hai! I'm really a very happy girl!|
and follow me outside, where she immediately had a nice long pee and a poop (just to show me what a GOOD girl she is) and I was a goner.
Okay, she is also very quiet, very well behaved, and about the same size as Charley without all the fur - not too much to handle.
|Maybe if I lie really quietly, they'll let me stay.|
Charley's nose is a bit out of joint, as it always is when I first bring another dog home, but she's okay with it.
Sadie is quite content to have another pal to mooch with (as long as she continues to get her fair share of the goodies):
|Yum! We like cheese and crackers too!|
And Allie hasn't quite made up her mind yet.
|Hmmph! A hound! She brought in a Hound!|
(It didn't help that Pepper chased her - but that was Allie's own fault as she was pulling her usual stunt of sneaking up on a sleeping dog and whapping the back end!)
Pepper is very bony and skinny, with some lumps and bumps. She's drinking a ton and peeing a river, which may just be anxiety or even just from recovering from hunger and dehydration. However, if it continues the SPCA will have the vet check for other causes once she has had a chance to rest and settle a bit. Despite the health concerns, she is agile, able to climb up and down stairs with no problem and only needed the tiniest bit of help to jump into the van. She was happy to lie at my feet while I read for a couple of hours this afternoon, but does get restless at times -likely wondering when she is going "home".
Today and tomorrow I shall stick close to her to allow her to bond. I started the 5x5 process (leaving her for five minutes five times) today to get her accustomed to my coming and going, and tomorrow I shall walk her around the block to begin teaching her the smells of the neighbourhood. At the moment, I am also taking her into the yard for a few minutes every hour - once she got into the house, she didn't want to leave again! Now we are going in and out, in and out, to make sure she knows that this door is always open to her.
|Pepper in back yard|
|On back porch - Can I go back in now, please?|
|I think I'm gonna like it here!|
I'm quite sure she will have me wrapped around her paw in no time.
Bringing a foster dog into the house is a bit like bringing home a book from the library - you can't tell from the cover what truly lies within. I look forward to watching Pepper's story unfold.