Elsa isstrutting around making noises, so I figured I’d finally make an update. Sorry it has been a minute. Too much drama surrounding my life and a lot of my time spent between my dogs and Elsa.

Right now she’s screaming at the window because she’d like to go outside to eat leaves and chew her leash. She just went to the bathroom so this is all a big production to trick me into taking her outside to do these fruitless things in the windy rain and cold. She gets VERY excited when I come in and cries at me while I’m eating and not sharing. She gives me a blank look when I ask her to sit. She ate part of my house and destroyed a thousand card board boxes into tiny pieces of cardboard. Silly me put down potty pads just in case she had to go while I was at work. She promptly destroyed them and then peed on the remains. If I am scratching her and I stop to type something on my computer, she nudges my elbow or forces her head under my arm. She eats pig ears with a fury.

We’ve got a dog on our hands here.

Elsa, legs crossed.

There is really nothing more sad than a dog that clearly likes you, and wants to like you, but has no idea how and is too consumed by whatever lingering fear to actively do so.

I’m pretty positive Elsa likes me. She cries/yips in excitement when she hears me talking as I come down to her apartment. When I come in she is standing tall, wagging her tail, and crying. Today she even looked like maybe she wanted to jump up on me. Then I come closer and she tucks her tail and head, avoiding. She’s pretty leery when I’m standing and will come to me when I finally kneel down. After the initial moments of setting sight on me, then the avoidance, she’s just largely indifferent. I don’t say much when I come in, just “hello mama.” (apparently I have a tendency to call all female dogs “mama” but in this case she really was at one point an actual mama) and then I hang out with her. Usually she sleeps within a few inches of me, and sometimes I scratch her belly or the top of her head like she likes, but that is about it so far. It’s extremely difficult not to just force yourself on a dog like her. LIKE ME. I HAND FEED YOU AND BRING YOU BELLY SCRATCHES. It just doesn’t work that way. If she is feeling up to it Saturday I’m going to take her on a walk with my Elkhound Jack and really hope she takes a shine to other dogs like I saw in the shelter. I really think they could be a good confidence booster for her and then she could start venturing into the rest of our house. Baby steps, though. It also might be completely over whelming for her.

She’s doing much better from her spay, just some anorexia. She wouldn’t touch her food last night or today until I hand fed it to her. I’m very grateful she will accept food from my hands. So I hand fed her her entire dinner because I love her. I knew I would. I always loved her.

Spay day.

11/22/2011

Elsa was successfully spayed today. PHEW.

I’m really glad it went smoothly and solidified that though today was A LOT outside of her comfort zone, she was not pushed to bite or even bare her teeth. There was an incident when we were checking her in and a woman came in the door with her dog, was paying attention to her young child that was refusing to walk through the door, and her dog ran up into Elsa’s face. I looked down to see them nose to nose when Elsa (I’m pretty positive it was her, the other dog looked very thrilled) growled very loudly but when I pulled her harness slightly and said “hey.” she easily turned towards me. When she heals from her spay I’m going to take her for a walk with our very level headed, calm Elkhound before introductions and see where that goes. I think this dog in the office was just way over her threshold for all the stuff going on.

She easily let me put a harness on her and was very puppy like in her walk outdoors to the car. She held her tail wagging and ran in quick bursts, nomming on the leash every so often. She also either is house trained, or is so used to being a stray that she enjoys going the bathroom outside. She hadn’t pooped since Saturday night but immediately pooped upon exiting the car, and peed outside each time we walked out. Bit unsure of walking around entirely, allowed me to pick her up and put her in the car but had a little trouble with me picking her up to take her out. It looked like she wanted to jump, but my boyfriend has a Range Rover so it was much too far to let her do it- especially after her surgery.

Of course I forgot all her paper work when I got there, and I forgot to ask them to cut her nails. Thankfully my vet rules and did it while she was under anyway. I’m fairly certain she would let me cut them as I handled her paws effortlessly last night but my motto here is baby steps. We’re not going to face any thing quickly unless we have to- like today’s trip to the vet. The vet thought it was best to spay first then treat her heartworm, and I wanted to get her spayed so I can begin working on socializing her a bit with the dogs as she’ll have to be completely separated and calm during her treatment (as if she isn’t any thing but calm anyway). She did great in the vets office- let strangers take her leash and lead here away, even petting her. She was dropped off at 7:30 AM and the vet called me at 9 AM and I didn’t answer. I didn’t answer because I was terrified they’d either say she went apeshit and bit every one who came near her, or that when they opened her up they discovered something horrible and we needed to put her to sleep. I was incredibly anxious about today in general so that is how my brain works. They left a voicemail and I stalled for a long time before listening to it. I ended up saving the voicemail forever because it was just the vet saying she did really well, was awake/recovering nicely, and that she was never aggressive at any point.

Unfortunately, it didn’t continue to go all that smoothly. She vomited, is sluggish, and on pain meds. Hopefully she recovers well and can maybe meet Jack (my aforementioned Elkhound). I’d like him to help her build confidence with people, so cross your fingers that she does well with dogs. She’s mostly passed out but I’m going to go sit with her and stroke her ears like she likes.

Today we eat our first cheese.

I’ve started Elsa a chip in. Not much to add there, but since she has turned out to be quite easy to handle I made her an appointment to be spayed on Monday. We’re going to discuss heartworm treatment options there (Fast vs. slow kill) and I was quoted $500-$1,000 depending on the severity of her infection, plus her spay cost, and plus her vaccinations. Since the shelter severed ties and released her to me, I am paying for her out of pocket, so it’s hustling doing hair for donations and putting this out there. http://dffb.chipin.com/elsa

Elsa is quite quiet tonight. A little bit of crying earlier, but mostly quiet. She did take a chunk out of the drywall, but to be fair to her a bit was hanging off just asking for it. She also shredded a ton of empty cardboard boxes and all the potty pads I put down for no good reason at all. While she is definitely not feral, I’ve been giving her a lot of space and time on her own. She did go to the bathroom and eat her entire dinner tonight, so I feel she is settling in. My boyfriend also spent some time with her while I was at work, just petting her until she slept and saying her name as she followed him about the room. I was team Elsa from the beginning, so of course she prefers him over me. That’s OK, my Dachshund likes me best. While she seems OK with her surroundings and allows me to do any thing to her, I’d rather leave her be and push nothing. The vet appointment on Monday will be a bit of trauma we can’t avoid, so she can have this weekend to sleep and do as she pleases in her space.

I’m sitting with her as I type this, though. She is sleeping next to me so I guess I’m cool. Of course this leads me to wonder that as a 25 year old girl, how did I end up sitting on the floor of the basement apartment at 12:30 in the morning internally excited to watch a dog sleep next to me. I’m not entirely certain where I went off the deep end, but I did at some point. I did not grow up a crazy dog lady and I can’t pin point where it happened. I always liked dogs fine, but never at a point where I’d pull a completely unsocialized dog set to die with a plan of action on how to make her adoptable and new. I’m not a particularly kind person. I’ve done bad things to good people and I’m not sorry for a lot of things. I’m usually the bad guy and I don’t mind doing it. Rather than wax philosophical about it I guess I can just tell you that I like dogs.

Won’t really be much to report in the next few days. Gonna give Elsa a lot of space. Think of her Monday. She goes in at 7:30 AM.

I have finally found a purpose for this blog. Her name is Elsa and she is new to our home as of tonight.

Elsa was named for Elsa the Lioness. For those unfamiliar with the story, in short Elsa was a lioness that was taught to be wild again and set free into her natural surroundings. My Elsa is not a lioness but a dog. A dog that has no idea what it is like to be a dog. I came to know Elsa after getting a job in the kennel location of a local rescue. She was deemed feral and pulled pregnant from a rural animal control. Her pups were born and adopted, and without resources to help her she languished in a kennel tucked away from the general public. I had talked about her for months, wondering what would become of her. Last week I caught wind her execution date was set and it set in for me that this dog had to get out and be given a chance at adapting to normal dog life. She was offered to me, severing ties with the rescue, and so I took her. Heartworm positive, in heat, and all baggage.

So as of 8:30 this evening she joined my household. Not really joined it, she is currently crated in an apartment attached to our house. I assumed being introduced to normal life and our dogs would prove overwhelming and her being in heat nixed even considering the idea as I have an unaltered young male in my home. I had a whole plan hatched on how to work with a feral, but it has since become obvious to me that she is in fact not a feral dog. Perhaps a stray for a long time, or an unsocialized outdoor dog in her previous life, but not feral. She also does not seem so much fearful as entirely uncertain of things. She is relaxed, accepted petting and being loaded in and out of the crate. She has taken a shine to my boyfriend, who is not really the dog nutjob I have turned out to be- figures. She screamed her tits off for a good portion of the night and began to go to town on the door, so she is back in her crate and quiet for the evening. Now we begin getting her healthy, both mentally and physically.

So that is it for this intro. I’m not an eloquent writer, and so this will not be a blog of revelations and words of wisdom. It’s just a blog about a dog pushed off the priority list and where she’ll go from here. There is going to be an end to Elsa’s story eventually. Her story will end in an adoption to a forever home, or we will let her go peacefully as initially slated- but not for lack of effort and not without a taste of what it is like to be a dog.