Peach arrived with her owners just after 6pm. As expected, Peach was extremely excited. She was happy to see Glimmer again, and she met Violet and my husband. Violet was her usual “mean-girl” self, hissing and growling. Peach has never met a cat before; being treated that way threw her for a loop and now she barks at Violet when she sees her. But, so far, Peach has been responding very well to both redirection, and to me getting between her and Violet. Because of her high state of excitement, Peach did have several accidents.
As soon as possible after her owners left, Peach was put on a martingale collar and a 3-foot leash. This is done for the first few days to help the dog start learning about limitations and boundaries. It also provides a sense of security and reassurance to the dog while they’re learning to adjust to their new world. Peach was not keen on wearing a collar; she resisted for several minutes, then gave up and laid down on the floor so I could fit her. When I attached the leash and used it to guide her up on her feet, she offered me resistance by pulling against it. This only lasted a few minutes, though; she figured out fairly easily how to work within the new confines. She wasn’t happy about her movements being restricted, but she allowed it.
The first night has been rough. Peach does not like to be confined or restricted; she’s used to having total freedom and she was not amused at being kenneled. Getting her into the kennel was not difficult, but when she realized she wasn’t going to be let out right away, she became very vocal, howling, yipping, whining, and barking her demands. However, the behavior became less frequent and prolonged when my husband came into the bedroom and turned on his bedside lamp. Almost immediately, Peach stopped vocalizing and laid down. She did vocalize off and on throughout the night, but the bouts were much less intense, and lasted only a couple of minutes before she finally gave up and went to sleep.
Peach did not eat her supper, but this is normal. Many dogs go off their food for the first day or two after they arrive. She’s drinking water, and as long as she keeps doing that, she’ll be fine. I’ll see how she feels about her breakfast when it’s time to feed her.
Where We’re At Right Now
Peach has already shown me where she’s at and what areas need to be worked on to help bring into a more balanced state. The biggest area she needs help with learning rules, boundaries, and limitations. She needs work in all areas, but establishing and consistently and calmly reinforcing this initial foundation with her will help with the other areas.
For today and tomorrow [Day 1 and Day 2], Peach will have very few expectations placed on her. She’s had to process – and she’s still processing – a lot of brand new information, and that can be really stressful for a dog. Especially, an almost 7-months-old puppy. I also want to use these first two days as assessment time, to see where she’s at in the areas her owners have asked me to work on with her.
Stay tuned. Photos [and hopefully, some video, too] will be coming…