Monday, July 10, 2017
We Thought She'd Be Ours
We brought this lovely girl home yesterday.
After enjoying Yoshi and Cara for the last three months, we decided we've love another dog in our pack and we chose this gorgeous girl after looking at many, many dogs in three different shelters. We found her in the same shelter that Cara and Yoshi came from and all three dogs got along very well during the two meet-n-greets we did. We also took her into the cat room where the "test cat" resides and she seemed to do well.
Once home, we took her for as long a walk as we could all stand in 100+ heat, then introduced her to our household. She adapted very well to everything except the cats. After a few hours, she saw our cat, Sky, on the back of the sofa and something in her brain clicked into "squirrel" mode and she went after Sky with all the tenacity and skill you'd expect of a German Shepherd. The only reason Sky is alive today is because she'd had experience living in the wild before we took her in. I'm sure none of my other cats would have been successful in evading the dog.
It was awful and I tried to help her, but the dog, at 62 pounds, had the advantage. After a harrowing chase where I thought Sky didn't have a chance after disappearing under the dog, Sky managed to get onto the cat tree, but the dog jumped up ONTO the cat tree and would have easily grabbed poor Sky in her jaws if I hadn't been there to push her away - barely. This gave Sky enough time to reach the safety of her kennel. She'd run for her kennel when the attack first started, but forgot to use the second door. We've been closing one of the doors to keep Cara from eating Sky's food. That closed door actually saved her once she managed to get in because it prevented the dog from getting her head in there.
We were all pretty shocked at how quickly the dog went from fine to that, but I know it's perfectly normal for a dog like this to see cats as prey (or at the very least the most amazing squeaky toy they'd ever seen). After trying many tactics to take the dog's attention off the cat and failing, we made the right decision to return her to the no-kill shelter and look for a dog that can live peacefully with cats.
The dog was so wonderful and we'd already started loving her so it was very sad when we brought her back. If only she didn't have the cat issue... Luckily, the dog was happy enough to return to a familiar environment and see the people she's familiar with, so I didn't have to worry that we were breaking an attachment on her part. We did send her with the toy she seemed to love that we bought for her.
By chance, the shelter worker who has helped us from the beginning of our adoption with Cara and helped us with Yoshi and helped us choose this German Shepherd, was there to receive her back and was happy to see us not trying to make it work and endangering our feline pets, had a wonderful surprise for us. Just this morning, she'd rescued a young German Shepherd puppy from a shelter in a neighboring town and introduced us to him. He was quite stressed from the transfer so we couldn't get to know him at all today, but the lady said she'd work with him every day this week.
So, this Saturday, we'll meet this little man-pup again and see if he'd fit well into our pack. If not, there's another likely puppy who has been fostered in a home with cats that would probably be a good match.