Sunday, May 15, 2016

Week One in the Bag

Our first week with Bella has come and gone, thankfully without incident. We're still keeping her and Tucker separated. Work schedules this past week wouldn't allow for much time at home to work with the two of them on leashes and I'm just not ready to risk any fighting or injury due to a jealous spat. So, still juggling the two between rooms and yard time for now. Tucker is at least showing signs of mellowing. He's not rushing at the door to snap at Bella when he sees her on the other side and as he watched her out in the yard this morning, his little stumpy wagged happily. Good, good signs! I have such hope for these two--I want them to be the best of friends!

Bella continues to be super anxious at times, especially when it comes to food. It tears my heart to shreds to see her precious face in such a crazed panic over treats and meal times. I only wonder if she'll ever calm down and trust in regular meals and an abundance of treats like Pea and Tuck just casually take for granted. I also wish she'd gain more weight--it's terrible seeing her ribs, hips and spine so clearly. I go into Mama overdrive and have to hold myself in check--I don't want to make her sick with overeating either. She's doing really well, though. Everything will come together in time. Hard to be patient!!

Other exciting news in the family this week is all about Michael! He received his much anticipated acceptance letter to the Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School and this morning he is also being confirmed at church. I couldn't be more proud of him. I have to do double takes some times looking at this tall young gentleman he's becoming, quick with a laugh and smile, just like his grandfather--and also just as quick with a jibe and argument like his dad. Smart, kind, funny--he's such a great kid. Love him to bits!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

More From the Home Front

We've made it through another day with our Bella. The vet called yesterday morning with the wonderful report of a full clean bill of health for this precious girl--no heartworm, lyme, or internal parasites. Such good news--and quite the miracle since she'd been left outside and ignored for so long! We are extremely thankful and can begin to fully concentrate on getting her more settled and hopefully gain Tucker's approval as part of the family pack. He's still stand off-ish and wants to snap at her through the door. We continue to keep them separated until we are both on hand to work with them more on leashes. I don't want to risk Tucker attacking Bella--the thought simply terrifies me. She's getting along great with Sweet Pea--if only our Tucker was a bit more amiable!

Lounging in the kitchen while Tuck and Pea are outside enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.
Bella is also not a huge fan of going outside. It's easier to convince her that it's okay if Sweet Pea will go out with her, then she's quite happy to bounce all around the yard, trying to entice Pea to play. But for a simple potty break, she's not as easily convinced--even with a handful of food or treats in an attempt to bribe her out of doors. She sits just inside the door, peering doubtfully at me, as if it's simply a trick and I won't let her back indoors. We're working on trust and patience. She deserves a world of love after all she's been through.

In other news--my friend, Maria, from work--our head cashier, announced the summer reading list for the store (I work at Barnes and Noble--true book heaven!! Sweet book nerd joy!) This is her list:
Seeing as I have eighty books on hand to read--yes, eighty!! I thought it might not be a bad idea to put together my own summer reading list--though it's not quite as long as Maria's, here is my own summer reading challenge:
I'm currently about not quite halfway through Patrick Rothfuss's A Wise Man's Fear, the second in his Kingkiller's Chronicles trilogy. I hope to finish that by the end of the month and begin my summer reading by Memorial Day. What's on your reading list?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Poppie (now known as Bella) Day Two

After an anxious first day and a restless night's sleep, day two went a good bit smoother. Bella (we decided Poppie looked much more like a Bella, so hopefully she won't think we're too incredibly nuts and eventually understand that we're talking to her...And anybody who knows me and my dogs, knows that they all end up with nicknames they hear far more frequently than their actual given names: Tucker is McFinnegan or Finn for short. Sweet Pea has a slew of nicknames--at least close to Pea--Peaster being the most common. long as she knows she's safe and loved...A rose by any other name would smell as sweet...right?) Anyway--Bella is hanging out in the office with the birds. She is completely fascinated with these feathered friends! So close but so impossible to eat! I may end up putting her in Michael's room when I go to work on Wednesday--less temptation when there's zero supervision seems like the safer option. We switch off through the day, putting Tucker upstairs so Bella can come out and run around the house, pop outside to go potty. Sniff every blade of grass, puddle of pee and pile of poo. And the birds can all breathe a sigh of relief for a little while. Sweet Pea is doing fantastic with Bella. She's grumped and grumbled a few times but seriously--she's a Bassett, and completely unthreatening. Bella just side steps around her and life goes on.

After the rain let up, we took the three out back for a walk around the yard again--Tuck and Bella on leashes. Zero aggression, lots of little positive reinforcement training treats when Tuck would get close and sniff but not snap or growl at Bella. And later in the afternoon we took them all for a stroll around the neighborhood, and they did fantastic again! Lots of treats, no bad tempers. A huge sigh of relief for all of us.

So, I think we're still juggling turns from who's in a separate room and who gets free reign so smells and potty breaks and love fests are equally enjoyed by all. Bella has her first trip to the vet this afternoon, get her set with all her immunizations and blood work and flea/heartworm medicines. I'm anxious to find out what she weighs so we can start to track her progress back to full health. She already looks amazing after what she's been through--I can only imagine how beautiful she'll be in another couple months of regular food and plenty of treats, love, and exercise! Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

For the Love of Poppie

It's probably easier to tell this story in a blog post rather than just the bits and pieces you'd get on social media, so let me introduce our newest family member, Ms Poppie:
A friend had posted this picture on Facebook, commenting another friend was trying to find a new home for this precious love. She had just been rescued from a very sad situation. She had been terribly neglected and desperately needed a new family to take her in. Well, one look at that sweet face and I was hooked, line and sinker, the whole nine yards. I needed to bring this baby home to us. Friend contacted friend, plans were then made, and Friday night my too sweet hubby drove off on an eight hour trek to the other side of NY to pick up our dear Poppie. He really is the best!

This is what our new baby looked like when she first arrived at the rescue in NY:
The family that had her, had a child with a nut allergy. The dog food they were feeding Poppie apparently contained nuts or nut byproducts and every time she ate and then licked the child, child had an allergic reaction. Instead of finding another nut free dog food or even possibly rehoming her, they chained her to a tree and simply stopped feeding her. It's uncertain how long she suffered this way but after just a week at the rescue, she'd already started to regain some weight and was looking pretty great:
Just a-chillin'
So Saturday morning, Bill met with the lady from the rescue who'd come the last leg of the journey across NY.
On the way to meet Bill
My new Dadz!
Headed home to MA!
Once they arrived home, we had a 'through the door' introduction with Tucker and Sweet Pea. They're not quite sure what to think of this strange new sibling. We're having the biggest struggle with Tucker, he's been fairly aggressive towards Poppie. Sweet Pea is having her share of things to say but she's doing much better at least. Poppie is just taking it all in. We have her separated for the time being and will work more on introductions again today and tomorrow. Hopefully these guys will all settle down and be more agreeable with a little time and patience. I see some long, neutral territory walks in our near future...but hopefully all friends in the end!

Welcome home Poppie!