Liberty on the Homefront

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Amie
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Liberty on the Homefront

Postby Amie » Fri May 01, 2009 4:09 pm

Well, she's home. I'll let you know when my heart starts again.

This morning, as I was "tucking Oscar in" (he gets told it's bedtime when I leave for work, and expects a kiss goodbye before I close the door) I started crying, thinking it was his last morning as the only dog, and how his whole world was going to change for all the attention he got and such. I'm a neurotic wimp.

Then, my boss was on a bizarre rampage all day.

Then I went to the vet to pick her up, and was told she has a home - one of the vet techs brought one of her kids in to meet her, and if all goes well at my house, they'll take her home when the behaviorist and I feel comfortable we've seen who she really is. The people at the vet all keep saying she's way too perfect - no animal could possibly come through what she has and be so sweet. And I keep saying "she's a pit bull."

It took me almost twenty minutes to get her in the car, and that involved me finally giving up and just picking her up. I didn't want to do it that way, I wanted it to be her choice, but remember she was hit by a car, so getting her over a fear of them is likely going to take longer than I could stand in a parking lot. She cowered the whole way home and ignored the pig ear and treats I had scattered across her seat.

She got out of the car easily, and then it took me about five minutes to coax her to the front door. [quick aside - when we were talking about names, one of the ones I threw out was Karma. It's little and girly, and I sort of feel like after all she's been through, the universe threw exactly the right mix of people together - an animal behaviorist, a vet tech, and me - to get her out of her miserable past. I was told Karma is too new age and would turn people off of adopting her.] As I was working her towards the front door, one of the feral children stopped and said "whose dog is that?" and I said "she's just staying with me until we can find her a forever home, she's a little too scared to meet you right now." and the little girl (Schyler - she's my favorite of the ferals) looked very thoughtful and said, "I think I know her name. I think her name is Karma." I even repeated it twice to her to be sure. Hmm.

Anyway we got up the steps, past the horror of the screen door, and opened the front door. At which point, of course all three cats rushed up to greet her, and she greeted each of them very sweetly (Fiona tried to posture a little, which cracked me up, but then when she saw I was coming in, too, she let the little dog in.)

Oscar was still in his room. Oh, did you notice the past tense there? Yeah, I coaxed little Liberty down the hall, heard a loud kerTHUMP and Oscar came bouncing down the hall. Shortly after there was some very unladylike language that someone else must have shouted, because I swear my mother raised me better than that. I think somewhere during the scuffle is when my heart stopped. Oscar was thrilled we have a new dog, though, no aggression issues, he just scared Liberty to death with his bounding. I managed to separate them, with Trevor still muttering foul words (I swear it wasn't me) put Liberty in the crate, closed the crate, dragged Oscar down the hall and got him outside, where he became a giant chimpanzee on a pogo stick, bouncing up and down and shrieking at the top of his lungs. Seriously, all the feral children were gathering to watch the fool. So there he was, jumping up and down like an arse, and I turn around to see Liberty trot past the screen door (inside).

She got out of the crate (I suspect Trevor let her out). So there I am trying to be sure hyper Oscar is well constrained, and rushing to get inside where I have left a strange pit bull and my three oddly assertive cats.

I finally got her back in the crate, where she has a chew toy, a pig ear, a stuffed animal, and the shirt I slept in last night. I closed her in, re-herded the cats back out of the room, and closed the door. I'm going to let her settle in a little, and leave her to herself, then go in after a bit and sit in there with her.

So I still don't plan on her spending time with Oscar until we can arrange a full walk, but it's nice to know he'll tolerate a strange dog in his territory (for the record, he is currently trying to eat a fly on the other side of the window from him, so I suspect he's recovered from the excitement of earlier.)

(no new pictures, will you accept a repeat?)
Image

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BabyReba
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Postby BabyReba » Fri May 01, 2009 4:31 pm

i hope she gets comfy and you guys have a relaxing time together! good luck!

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Postby julie64 » Fri May 01, 2009 5:03 pm

What a homecoming. lol That's good that if everything turns out right she will have a home.

I think Trevor was letting you know he didn't want a second dog. :) Hope you have a quiet relaxing evening.

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Postby Shanda » Fri May 01, 2009 7:23 pm

glad to see I'm not the only one with pushy, dog-loving cats. :thumbsup:

She's got a sweet face. :))

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Postby Amie » Fri May 01, 2009 7:26 pm

An update already might be (okay, IS) ridiculous, but you're getting one anyway. Poor Liberty was just standing in her crate looking around for about an hour. I went in, closed the door off (immediately creating a "fringe" effect of six tiny fluffy front legs reaching under the door, and the sound of a large skull thudding against it.) and sat on the floor with her crate door open. She came out of the crate and stood next to me for a while, sniffing at me, bumping me occasionally, but otherwise tail still glued to her belly.

I finally popped in a movie (*cough*Twilight) and lay down on the floor and ignored her. After about twenty minutes she sat down, and ten minutes later, she lay down. Another five minutes and she was snoring away with her head in my lap, waking up every time a squirrel ran across the roof (the squirrels in my yard are in the elephant family and do not carry big sticks)

A little while later, I took her back out to the yard to pee, which took a while, but now she's back in the crate, alone in the room but with the door open so the furry family can go see her.


So overall, I think it's been an extremely positive first evening, and she's going to get as much of a shut-down as I can give her and slowly get more and more contact with the rest of the family as long as things continue to improve!

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Postby Jazzy » Fri May 01, 2009 7:57 pm

I'm glad things are going well!

(But I'm rather lost; is her name now Karma, Liberty or Chapel?)

Anyway, watch out for the cats; I suspect they are out to thwart you.

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Postby Amie » Fri May 01, 2009 8:17 pm

lol Who knows what her name is at this point? Liberty, I think, but I'm just calling her sweetie and honey and possum and other quiet affection terms.

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Postby FBODGRL » Fri May 01, 2009 10:20 pm

Wow....I think I missed the back story on this one!

Sounds like things are going good and I loved reading your story lol

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Postby Beowulf » Fri May 01, 2009 10:43 pm

All right! I'm glad her first day at your house was successful. I still say she's gorgeous. But I always root for the underdog.

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Postby Loribl » Sat May 02, 2009 1:27 am

WHERE is the video of the pogo stick dog? roflmao roflmao I would pay BIG $ to see that!

Glad to see she's settling in and doing fine. :thumbsup:

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Postby Deniselynn » Sat May 02, 2009 1:42 am

Amie, did you decide to keep her? I didn't read the latest about this!

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Postby Deniselynn » Sat May 02, 2009 1:48 am

:oops: I found the thread in the Gallery section.

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Amie
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Postby Amie » Sat May 02, 2009 7:28 am

Beowulf wrote:All right! I'm glad her first day at your house was successful. I still say she's gorgeous. But I always root for the underdog.


She actually looks MUCH better now - chopping her nails really helped her legs a lot, and I'm wondering if they can be improved more with physical therapy. Before the chop, her dew claws were almost on the ground, the legs were so warped.

She's still scarred and wonky, though. Very, very, cute. But wonky. :)

She's not eating well at the moment, but she was at the vet, so I assume it's fear related. She's got a twist-n-treat in her crate with her, so she can get food if she wants it. And (TMI alert?) she hasn't pooped yet, but I assume that's fear as well. She's peed a little bit, and faked it a few times. lol So I'll keep a close eye on her and if she hasn't been more, uh, productive by Monday morning, I'll call the vet who's been seeing her.

I would LOVE to keep her - she's really just about perfect, except for being terrified. Everyone who's met her has just fallen in love. If I could afford it, I'd just take her now (and it sucks, because in three or four months something will be slightly easier and I could afford another dog at that point.)

No cat/dog/child/animal issues, sweet and quiet, and a quick learner. And tiny, tiny, tiny. I can't wait to be able to get a picture of her next to Oscar. She's just scared of almost everything right now. But she's come in close contact with all my critters (because apparently all forms of containment in my house are simply illusions to amuse me - they keep breaking out!), and even though Oscar is a little too assertively interested in her, she wags her tail every time she sees him.

Honestly, I'm almost hoping some quirk turns up when she settles in more that makes her not a good fit for the family who wants her now... bad me, I know.

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Postby Amie » Sat May 02, 2009 8:12 pm

I got home to raucous barking, which I assumed was the tv, because Oscar knows my car and doesn't bark for me. Oh, that's right - new dog. So the little girl was barking her little head off, which I took to be a good thing, thinking it meant she at least felt enough at home to protect her little "territory" (is this just wishful thinking on my part, or is it a good sign that she was making her first noise?) As soon as she heard my voice, she stopped barking, which fits into my guess as being "oh, she's allowed here". I made my way down the hall, and found her positively cowering from me. It was a marked effort to get her down the hall to go outside, she was suddenly so terrified of me. She was fine after about five minutes, then I took Oscar out, and when she saw me out in the yard, she barked again (the view from her window, she likely only saw part of my head) and again when I went back in, she was cowering severely.

I'm assuming one of the things she was beaten for was barking. I praised her repeatedly, telling her she would never be in trouble for protecting my family (cats) and managed to calm her down.

Then we learned the twist-n-treat. I think she's also afraid to manipulate anything - possibly something else for which she was abused. I had to have the twist-n-treat just barely together, about two inches between the two semispheres, and knock it around myself two or three times before she decided she would give it a shot. After a few minutes of that, she would push it with her nose timidly.

She still has no idea at all what to do with the pig ear or the chew toy (which is a dental bone that I've "laced" with little bits of meat here and there to be more encouraging at first).

Poor little thing.

The good news is she's much more quickly comfortable with me, and is sitting in my presence right away, instead of that statue-like standing I was getting last night, and she's still comfortable with all the trespassers who break into her room before I can close the door behind me. Also, I can reach towards her face and head to pet her without creeping, and without getting a flinch. She's starting to enjoy the petting, whereas last week it looked as though she just didn't know what was going on.

People have been so horrible to this girl, and I am so proud to know her and how well she's recovered so far.

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Postby julie64 » Sun May 03, 2009 7:51 am

I know I've said it before but I am so glad she went home with you. Reading about her cowering, god only knows what she endured with her previous owners. Liberty does sound like she is letting her guard down. Even though it's just a little right now, it's a big step. Huge thanks to you for opening up your home to her!!


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