Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sheba the Wonder Dog

Part of our move to Texas included me telling the kids that the likelihood that they could get a dog would increase greatly. Princess began telling everyone who would listen about how she was going to get a dog. I sighed inwardly and wondered what kind of deal I had set up for myself.

We had only been here a few weeks when I saw two dogs listed on a local garage sale group that needed homes. They were two boys, and they person who had taken them in off the streets believed they were about 8 months old. They were both very skinny and my heart went out to them. Unfortunately, after they had been in our home for a few weeks, we had to face the fact that it was not meant to be. We don't think they had ever truly had a home, and they did not seem to want to be with us or inside the house. Once they figured out that between the two of them, they could push their way out whenever anyone opened a door, all they wanted to do was be free in the open countryside and bother the neighbors cows, or terrorize our cat, Cricket, while inside. The poor kitty went from having free roaming of the house to being stuck in the master bedroom all the time.

The kids really wanted a dog that would love them back, and it was hard for them to feel shunned by the pups, especially on top of getting used to a new area. We also felt that keeping them was unfair to our existing pets, since the dogs wanted to chase and try to bite Cricket, our bunnies, and our chickens. It took me a few weeks of working with rescues and shelters, but I found a cute young couple that were very excited to take them. I am happy that we were at least able to help them put on a few pounds each and get de-wormed.

Our nights got quieter for sure without all the howling, but I will admit that the house did feel a little empty, and I missed taking the dogs for walks around the property. I began researching breeds that would work well for us, and how much money we needed to save up to purchase one, since the breeds I was interested in were quite pricey.

When we attended the local winter festival, the city animal shelter had some of their adoptable animals there. Brady and the kids were instantly drawn to Sheba. I stood back, biting my lip and unsure if I was willing to try bringing a dog into the house again, but I caved. I am glad that I did.

Sheba is a believed to be a bit over a year old, and is of a mixed breed. The shelter said she was a Carolina dog. She physically resembles the akita breed as well with her short snout and curled tail. Both are not known for doing well around chickens, but she is so eager to please her humans that she sits quietly around the coop. She absolutely LOVES belly rubs.

She went through two families before making it to us, so she does have some anxiety about being left. This is understandable, and we are working to help her know that we will always come back when we leave the house and to make her more comfortable in her crate.

Our morning routine involves me getting her out of her crate and her making a frantic search of the house trying to find all of her people.

Cricket is handling having another red colored pet around quite nicely. We are still trying to figure out exactly how, but she has managed to establish some dominance over Sheba, who is easily four or five times her size. Apparently, her hissing is very scary. I think it will actually be quite good for her to have another pet around the house since she is strictly an indoor cat now and could maybe use the company. As for how she feels about it though, I think her face pretty much sums it up....