I'd like to introduce you to our latest little foster girl Trixie! She is so adorkably scrumptious! I'm not sure why but so far every one of our fosters have been girls. Poor Kirby is overcome with estrogen in this home of all females which includes me and two cats, Chelsea and Kaitlyn. He is however handling it quite well for a GSD (Good Southern Dog)!
This little darling was found wandering frightened and alone on a city road in Starkville where many dogs have been dumped for whatever unknown reasons. I received her a few days later along with a brand new pretty collar and comfy dog bed her rescuer couldn't resist buying for her. We think she is roughly one year old so at 9 pounds she is full grown.
Was she someone's pet? A cute little puppy someone eventually grew tired of? Or a lost little dogger who couldn't be found? She is quite friendly and sociable, albeit a little shy. What surprised me was she had no idea how to play. She simply didn't understand the concept. No matter what we tried it would take more than a week before she began to play with a toy. The squeaky toys still frighten her but she has discovered a little stuffed cloth ball she enjoys picking up with her mouth and tossing in the air. I love watching her do this over and over as if she has just figured out something fun! It doesn't matter that Kirby has every toy in every size imaginable. Trixie will only play with that little ball. Also much to Kirby's dismay she hasn't learned the tug a toy game yet. Instead of grabbing a part of the toy to pull from Kirby she much prefers to grab Kirby's ears with her little mouth. He silently suffers but does give me a disgusted look quite often.
Trixie took to Kirby immediately preferring to stay near him and snuggling next to him to sleep. I'm pleased he took on the role of big brother quite easily. Kirby loves to be chased but Trixie, being faster, prefers to tackle him. They wrestle and play what I can best describe as "bitey mouth" nipping and pulling as they tumble over and around each other. Kirby is larger and heavier than her but seems to know he can hurt her which of course gives her the advantage of pinning him down. Little Trixie always wins which I suppose is probably good for building her confidence!
I have observed a rather strange show of food aggression. Both dogs get a bowl of food at the same time. Kirby takes his time eating while Trixie scarfs hers down as quickly as possible. When she first came here she would finish her food within seconds and then run to his bowl growling and snapping at his face. Kirby would back up letting her have his food. She got away with this the first few times due to her quickness but since then I can firmly say NO which will stop her in her tracks. I think she is just a little girl who was hungry for a long time eating when she could find food.
I do believe this food aggression will dissipate as she realizes she will get food to eat whenever she is hungry from now on. When I give them each a small pork chew they prefer to take turns with the same one. She will take the one from Kirby and chew on it a while he watches her, then he will take it from her and chew on it while she watches him, back and forth until it's gone. Maybe she is learning to share?
Have I mentioned she has learned to give kisses? It's just the sweetest attempts ever. I can tell from her behavior she wants so much to cuddle and be sweet but her nervousness makes her a bundle of energy as she snuggles then wiggles and jumps in a frenzied motion then snuggles again not quite sure what to do.
The days are moving quickly as Trixie learns more and more. At bedtime I grab a few treats as we get into the bed. Using little pieces I test Kirby asking him to do each trick he knows in order to get a tasty morsel. Trixie gets a treat each time too. The wonder of it is she is learning by watching Kirby. She can now sit, circle, sometimes do down, and up. She looks so very pleased with herself every time I say "good girl".
She has finally discovered the joy of toys! Kirby has a toy box in the living room and another in my bedroom. Trixie seems to think her job is to pull every toy from both toy boxes and bring them to the living room. She still doesn't like when one of them squeaks but has started playing with the larger toys pulling them around the room or tossing them into the air. She still eagerly chases Kirbs to his delight and has learned the proper way of playing tug a toy by grabbing and pulling the toy rather than Kirby's ears. Sometimes she wins, sometimes Kirby wins.
We've taken her to the lake a few times. The first few times I took her into the water her entire body was trembling. Holding onto the loop on her life jacket I let her swim while not allowing her to head to the shore. Scooping her out of the water I would hold her and tell her what a good girl she was. By the end of the day she was running into the water to play with Kirby. Kirby stays close to us and has very good recall so Doug had the brilliant idea of hooking her tie off to Kirby's tie off. This way they could run and play but we didn't have to worry about trying to catch her if she suddenly took off. All we had to do was call Kirby who would pull her along behind him whether she wanted to follow or not.
She travels very well too. I hook her to Kirby's car seat and she settles right down next to him very observant to everything going on. She never gets car sick or cries. Bath time is also easy with no struggles whatsoever. Really the only issues would be her mild food aggression and she does bark and chase my cats. I'm sure she means no harm since whenever she runs into either one face to face she is very friendly. Maybe she is trying to play with them but isn't sure how.
We have had a minor problem with house training. She knows to go outside but thinks she can potty or poop on my rugs. My house is all tile or wood so I'm not sure if she is somehow associating the rugs with grass? Once I removed all the rugs we haven't had a problem.
She is sitting here now looking at me with the cutest little monkey face I have ever seen. Her dark eyes alert to everything around her. Her shaggy hair falling perfectly around her eyes. With her cuteness factor and perky personality this little bit of fluff is going to make an amazing companion for some lucky human. Dammit, this also means I'm going to cry when we have to say goodbye.
Trixie will be leaving this Saturday, July 23rd, to head north for adoption. A foster dog must have at least three applications for adoption before they are allowed to be transported. I've been told Trixie has received five applications for adoption.