Tuesday, July 22, 2008

He ain't nothin' but a pound dog

Only a few days after Elvis' passing, mumsy and dadsy were already in talks with ARF about adopting a new dog or two - they fell in love with one and asked about him, then fell in love with another and also asked about her, then got told both had found news homes but that there was a shih tsu at the pound that needed a home.

Dadsy called in the deposit over the phone.

We were trying not to get ahead of ourselves (having gotten excited about the other two that we didn't get) but middle bro had already given him a name and family tea night last night was all about our dog to be: Pounder (yes, because he comes from the pound).

Until today, all we had of him was the pound website photo:

Awww. I know, right?

So I flexxed off from 12:20 today to buy a new collar, a new bed, a new food bowl and a new water bowl for the new pet. Then it was a short drive back to the pound to pick up the newest addition to the family.

The pound guy got me to fill out all the paperwork and then let me out to the yards - such a terrible place, the crying howling dogs in their cages.

He took me to gate 20 and I saw the poor little fellow at the gate, he timidly came towards the pound man as he opened the gate and then bolted to the far fence. The pound man carried him to the car for me and he was pretty well behaved until he decided to growl while I clipped him in to the harness. He sat at full attention for the drive home, letting me coo over him, talk to him and pat him for the whole 10 minute drive. As we pulled into the driveway he climbed up my arm in his haste to get out and was happy to be out on the lead. Until I tried to lead him toward the house and he flipped out, rolling and twisting trying to get out of his harness.

On Monday night mumsy and dadsy told us that he didn't like being on a lead and that he didn't like being picked up. After spending the afternoon with him, I can add that he doesn't always like pats, he doesn't like you approaching him with two hands, he doesn't like toast or tuna or cheese, he doesn't like a collar being put on and he hates baths (my left arm is now proof of this).

He does like cat food, he does like dry puppy food, he does like chicken strips, he does like liver strips, he does like Scooby Snacks and he does like Home Brand carob biscuits.

He is really knotty, he pants a lot, he sniffs constantly, he is really thin, he is learning how stairs work, he is marking EVERYTHING, he will sometimes chase a squeaky ball, he sits when you're in the kitchen or moving plastic bags of food, his spine is curved up and back and you can feel each of his ribs.

He is always on the move - if he is not sniffing he is walking, if he's not walking he is pacing, if he is not pacing then he is spinning in circles. On the upside, he circles both to his left and to his right, so it's unlikely to be a brain tumour - we just couldn't handle that. However, he freaks out if you go into a different room and shut the door - this includes going to the toilet. It's not just any freak out - he spins and spins and spins in fast cirles and he cries and whines and barks - it is a stress attack of sorts.

The plan is hopefully to have dadsy stay home from work tomorrow, just to help him relax in to the place. He needs a haircut, he needs to be desexed, and he needs a vet check to determine his age, to determine if there is something wrong with his spine, to determine if he needs some kind of medication - I honestly don't know how they are going to leave the house to go work. Tom used to do something similar - if we walked him to the shops and then someone went in to the shop, he would squeal and cry and whimper and shake. Something about us being seperated would set him off.

Because poor Pounder was a stray, we can only assume what could have happened to him before now. His pacing seems to indicate he was in a pen or a cage, or somewhere with limited space - the cage theory seems to be reinforced by his stress attack when he may feel he has been shut in or out. His lack of interest in sitting on laps or having constant pats or sitting the comfy couch or seat would indicate he was an outside dog. His frenzied manner of eating would indicate he was kept with many other dogs where he had to eat as much as quickly as he could. His dislike of being picked up (he will roll and make what dead weight he has) would indicate he was handled roughly. His spine curves up at the back, indicating he may have been backed up in the corner for some time.

Poor little guy - I hope he can settle.
He has a very good life ahead.


Lulu said...

What a cutie! I hope all goes well with the vet.

I am sure pounder will adapt after a little time- once he realizes he is in a safe home he will relax a little! Best of luck!!

ps: Our puppy doesn`t like a lead yet either- we have to sneak it on her if we take her across the road to the park---but even then she likes to try to chew on it!

Enny said...

lulu - vet gave the all good, said the spinning is behavioural rather than neurological (Max was spinning after his stroke, so dadsy was pleased to hear it), and his behaviour seemed calmer today :o)

At least you can train it out of your puppy - Pounder is between 5 and 8, so is going to be a little harder ;o)