|Queenie - I wish I knew how to ease your troubled mind.|
Queenie's been with us now 5 full days. You know, having done this fostering gig for 10 years or so, I really thought I had seen and experienced it all. Not so :) Working with Queenie and trying to get her on some sort of even keel has been challenging. I kind of knew what we would be in for as I had followed Gunner's progress over at Val's and realized that these younger of the Fab Five had really been sheltered from everything outside of their little kennel worlds. Like Gunner, everything in the house is new and confusing to Queenie. She has the same mentality about stairs (walk up them, leap down them), crates (no way Jose) and sleeping with her humans (I don't necessarily want you to touch me, but I sure as heck ain't sleeping downstairs on my own either!). The biggest issue we have had to deal with though is her reluctance to eat. She is already so underweight, seeing her not eat consistently for the week she's been here has been painful and really worrying.
|Queenie catching a few zzzzzs while Mom works on the computer|
We have tried every trick in the book: dry food, canned food, human food, baby food... feeding her with other dogs, feeding her by herself....feeding her in a bowl, feeding her on a plate, feeding her by hand... - NOTHING seems to work more than once. Today was a break through of sorts in that she ate 4 small cans of a special veterinary food that is supposed to help dogs recovering from illness gain their appetite. Thank goodness it is the consistency of wet clay, because you can take a few fingers full and kind of smear it inside the dog's mouth to get them to eat it. Queenie doesn't seem too offended by this approach, and she seems to actually like the taste of the stuff so I looked up what it is made of....chicken livers!! Oh goody - my favorite! :)
|Chicken livers simmering away...the smell was horrendous!|
Still, if she finds it appealing I am all for feeding her more. So we went and bought 2 tubs of chicken livers, cooked them up in some water then pureed them into a gray, smelly kind of gravy. The other dogs were doing back flips for this stuff - it is seriously like puppy crack!!!!!! For her part, Queenie seems to appreciate my efforts (which have resulted in me losing MY appetite!!) and ate another can of dog food with this gross concoction poured over it. She seems to prefer to eat at night, so tonight we will mix up a bowl of hotdogs, boiled turkey and chicken liver gravy and see how that goes. I'll keep you all posted :)
Aside from the eating thing, Queenie is definitely showing signs of settling in. She has made friends with another of our foster dogs, Iris, which really makes us happy. Iris has been with us for a couple of months but is still not ready for adoption. Until Queenie came on the scene, I would have said that Iris was the most timid, troubled dog we have fostered. Sadly, Queenie makes her appear well-adjusted :( Still, it is so interesting that these 2 beautiful yet damaged girls have gravitated towards each other. Last night while we were watching TV, Queenie and Iris slept together in Queenie's dog pen (we built an indoor pen for her as we knew a crate was going to be too claustrophobic for her).
|Queenie and her foster sis Freya|
|Queenie chillin' on the back deck|
Before that, we found them lying back to back in the living room. Previous to Queenie coming to us, Iris was polite but distant from all the other dogs in the house. She kind of watched the goings on from the periphery. Now she seems to have found a kindred spirit. Just before I sat down to write this blog Iris alerted me to something outside the kitchen door with one, solid "woof!!". Iris NEVER barks, so this startled me to say the least. When I got up to see what it was, I found Queenie on the other side of the door looking in. Queenie has worked out how to get out the door, but she hasn't mastered getting back in, so she had inadvertently been left outside. I opened the door and let her in and the 2 girls trotted off to lay down in the living room. I was both flabbergasted and touched by the very clear dialogue of communication I had just participated in between the 2 dogs and myself. As I watch the friendship between these 2 dogs develop I get a very strong sense that it is no fluke that we ended up fostering them both at the same time. I hope these 2 girls can learn from each other that humans can be trusted and that there are good things out there in the world.