Well my new foster girl arrived Thursday night a very timid shell of a Staffie, only 16-18 months old and has had a hard life, giving birth last Friday to a stillborn pup, who she tried to revive by licking for three hours! Poor wee mite isn’t sure how to be a dog – she doesn’t know how to play, doesn’t want to take treats, even home made liver ones until she sees Coal and Tess taking one then she’ll take it but 4/5 times spits it out and leaves it! Her nails are long which is unusual for a Staffie so hasn’t been walked much although is good on the lead but I think that may be down to fear. She is intimidated by men, but if they do slow introductions she loves them. Roxy is very human orientated and has to be touching you at all times and even if you move a tiny bit she squeezes in tighter like a snake wrapped round your back, she even came in the shower with me, until she got wet then sat on the bath mat till I’d finished. My shadow is Roxy shaped at the moment but it’s too soon for her to start separation training as she needs to settle in first and find her feet. She even has a white V on her head – could be for Vicky?! She’s going to be hard to let go!
Its just short walks for Roxy just now until her Spey wound heals fully in a weeks time so just gentle exercise until then. She shouldn’t even be jumping up onto the couch but she needs to be so close to me that I can’t stop her so cue the dog steps!
But I’m digressing here as it’s been a whirlwind 36 hours, so let’s start at the beginning. The vet Lucanne, that had managed to get Roxy signed over to them, brought her to me at 5pm and we immediately took all the dogs out a short walk to let them sniff each other, whilst Lucanne updated me on Roxy’s background as she knew it. She told me that the previous owners also had a male staffy registered with the veterinary practice around the same age as Roxy but they had never seen either it or Roxy at the vets until now, so she has had no vaccinations as far as they know. It took 2 days for Roxy to be taken to the vets after giving birth to one large stillborn pup where they found she had a bad womb infection and needed an operation. The owners couldn’t afford to pay for it so asked for her to be pts. Fortunately Lucanne refused and asked them to sign Roxy over to her so she could be rehomed, which thankfully they did.
Lucanne then did they speying operation, gave Roxy medicines, and took her home to start recovery (and keep an eye on her as although she only had one large pup, she was producing a huge amount of milk, which could have caused mastitis but luckily that didn’t happen and it’s calming down now) whilst she tried to find a suitable rescue space. She tried a couple but they were full but by this point Lucanne had realised how timid Roxy was and came to the conclusion that putting her in a kennel environment would scar Roxy as she was fearful of everything.
At Lucanne’s home Roxy didn’t bother her cat at all though the cat lives with Lucanne’s two dogs which were staying elsewhere whilst Roxy was staying as she was needing to rest and recover in peace. Although one of Lucanne’s friends almost adopted her but backed out as Roxy had chased her cat, after the cat ran past her, and the cat refused to go in the house after that so maybe best with cats that have been around dogs before as Roxy never harmed the cat or attempted to, but the cat got a fright at being chased and like Roxy, the cat probably needed a slower introduction. So Roxy returned to Lucanne’s house and she contacted Staffie Smiles Rescue who in turn contacted me to foster which brings us up to when they arrived at my house. Roxy arrived with a blanket, a collar and lead and a couple of toys that Lucanne had purchased for her to help Roxy get over the loss of her pup.
After the short walk we brought them into my garden and leaving their leads trailing behind them, for easy grab if needed, we let them wander around the garden letting them sniff each other. This went by without incidence, normally the next step would be to see them in the house together but as Roxy was so overwhelmed by everything I popped my two up to my neighbours who were sitting in the garden with their two staffies playing, so that it gave Roxy a chance to sniff her new surroundings without being pestered by my two, she was straight up onto the couch! As Lucanne was leaving, I was saying goodbye and holding Roxy back as she wanted to go with her. I then sat down for a couple of minutes just her and me to try a relax her a bit. Then just as I was getting ready to leave to collect my two, with Roxy, she did a poo on the rug – sheer nerves. Normally it would have been too soon to introduce her to more people and dogs at this stage but I had to collect my two and didn’t want to leave her alone in the house,nwhilst I did this for a few reasons mainly she’d be scared being left and I didn’t want my two seeing her already in the house before they’d all been in the house together, so I took Roxy up to collect Coal and Tess from my neighbours and she sniffed their two dogs and was fine. As we were leaving, our other friends arrived with their two year old girl and surprisingly, for a Staffie, Roxy was a bit wary at first but then allowed her to give her a stroke. My neighbour brought my two down whilst I had Roxy and took my two into the house first, leaving their leads trailing we let them meet each other inside. Coal was bouncing around in front of Roxy trying to get her to play then Tess sniffed Roxy in a confined area (between the couch and coffee table) then Roxy sniffed Tess, Tess doesn’t like being sniffed so had a few barks but all Roxy did was give a cry, my friend grabbed Tess and I grabbed Roxy to seperate them, which was easily done, and I told Tess no, they went back to sniffing each other then all settled down for a sleep. This has been the only incident between the dogs.
When we got back home, it was dinner time and Lucanne had warned this may be a problem and had supplied a tin of Chappie as she had tried feeding Roxy good quality foods but she refused to eat anything but. I thought I would try her on what my two were getting, which was the gammon from the soup I had made earlier in the day, as I don’t like large amounts of meat, so I cut some of it up and added it to their dry biscuits. Roxy got excited during the preparation of it and sat immediately when asked before I put it down for her, she waited until told to get it gave it a sniff and walked away! I left it down for her and kept trying to encourage her to eat a piece of gammon, shaking the bowl, holding the bowl for her until my two had finished eating, so I let them out for the toilet and Roxy ran through to the kitchen to sniff their empty bowls then went back to her own and proceeded to pick each bit of gammon out without disturbing the biscuits!
She also wasn’t sure about taking treats and only took a tiny training size piece of dried liver and a small bit of flap jack that my friend gave her last night. She has to be touching you with at least one part of her body but preferably all of it, she wraps herself around your back, constantly beside you wherever you go, she can never be close enough.which leads me on to her first night. She was lieing beside me on the couch sleeping before I went to bed so I managed to move without waking her allowing her to spend the night on the couch. As soon as I got into bed I heard her get down from the couch wander round the room, then get back onto couch and started crying. I got up and thought if I put her in her crate she might feel secure and realise it’s time to sleep, she was quiet happy to go in the crate and lie down so I left her but again she started crying but I left her for five minutes to see if she would settle herself down but it got worse so I gave her a pet and I lay on the couch, leaving her in the crate. She gave a couple of cries then relaxed. I managed to sneak back through to bed eventually, after getting caught a few times. I think I got about half an hours sleep so just as well that I don’t sleep much due to my back pain waking me – there’s always a silver lining lol.
When I came through in the morning she was super excited to see me, she is absolutely gorgeous and her coat is the softest and silkiest I’ve ever felt. When I let them out in the garden she waits for me to go with her, she is just so unsure of everything but with a bit of confidence training she’ll make a perfect dog. She knows sit, stay, no, good girl, lie down I’m not sure if she knew paw or was just copying Tess but either way it’s good.
We just went two short walks today both with Tess and Coal As I couldn’t leave her in the house by herself yet and she still needs time to heal so shouldn’t be exerting herself. She was great on both walks but we never came across anyone on either walk but she walked well. Never did the toilet though. In fact she never toileted until tea time which Lucanne had said that was the case yesterday as well?! Could be nerves
I popped her in her crates whilst I went to the shop across the road, knowing I would only be a couple of minutes and she had my dogs there with her for company, and whilst I was out I noticed the fish van was there so I thought getting her some fish to try would be good and there was no noise coming from my house so I stood in the queue but only lasted a couple of minutes before I heard Roxy barking so I left the queue and went to look in the livingroom window to see if either Coal or Tess were annoying her whilst she was in the crate, but they weren’t in the room. I went in, let her out her crate and she relaxed, after 15 minutes the fish van was still there and there was no queue so I closed the baby gate leaving Roxy on the couch and nipped across and got some mackerel for them, when I got back however she was waiting at the front door for me! She had jumped over the baby gate and she’s meant to be healing so it will be in the crate from now on!
I tried Roxy with a bit of my pork sausage out of my roll which she took immediately then with a bit of mackerel which she also really enjoyed, with the dog treats she loves the pig spaghetti, sweet potato, homemade tripe cake and has chewed a tiny bit of Hyde bone, so far she has refused cooked liver treats, but will take dried, cheese treats, honey and banana, beef treats and chicken! She did eat her scrambled eg for breakfast though as well as the mackerel and sardines at dinner just not the biscuits.
I sat in the garden with them seen as it was sunny and played with Tess and Coal but for the most part Roxy sat beside me and watched. She did get down and had a sniff around the garden but then was back up beside me.
It started to get a bit windy so I came in for a jacket and the dogs all followed me. When Coal and Tess saw what I was doing they trotted off back into the garden, I turned to look at Roxy and she was attempting to copy the way Tess had been playing with the ball. She so wants to play, she gets excited watching Tess and Coal but just doesn’t know how to join in. Usually if this was the case at a different time I would show her, but I don’t want her playing just now until she’s healed properly.
For her dinner I gave her some flaked mackerel through her biscuits but again she ate only the mackerel and left the biscuits so this wasn’t enough for her so I gave her some chappie mixed with sardines – she ate the sardines and left the chappie I don’t know how she managed to separate them as I had gave it a good mix round, but she did! As I was preparing the chappie and sardines Roxy did a pee in the bathroom – just as well I have a wet floor shower room! It was the only toilet she had done all day and had just been out in the garden prior.
Roxy loves to cuddle and so does Tess, I thought this may present a problem and knock Tess’s nose out of joint, but no they just both cuddle in with me with no issues!
Roxy’s second night here I put her in her crate, gave her cuddles and tucked her in, leaving the crate door closed but not locked then went to bed, 5 minutes later I heard her come out her crate and head for the baby gate so I immediate got up as I didn’t want her jumping the baby gate again, and returned her to her crate, this time locking the crate door once she lay down I went back through to bed. Every hour during the night she’d cry but instead of me getting up and going through to her, which would reward her, I stayed in bed and just said “Roxy, no” which worked, for another hour anyway! When I came through this morning, again she was super excited to see me, wagging her tail so fast and jumping up on me. First thing I do in the morning is let them out to toilet in the garden and Roxy did her first pee outside so got highly praised for it – my neighbours must think I’m crazy! Then I make their breakfast which was scrambled eggs again this morning and again Roxy just ate the egg and left the biscuits, which this time I had soaked in water to soften them. Then it was more cuddles on the couch until she spotted her Hyde bone from yesterday and for the first time moved to the opposite side of the couch from where I was sitting and chewed her bone! I managed to snap a photo
but the second I took the photo, normal ‘snake’ service resumed and she was back wrapped round my back! This makes it very difficult to get photos of her so I have looked the selfie stick out now so more photos will follow soon!
I apologise for this being such a long post, but so much has happened over the last few days!
if you are interested in adopting Roxy or any other Staffie and live in Scotland, please go to this website where you can fill out the online application form to start the process –
if you can’t take a dog on permanently maybe you could consider fostering, it is the most amazing experience and such a privilege to see the dogs flourish and learn from each other or you could volunteer, fundraise or donate either blankets/towels/dog food or financially. Why not pop in to your local rescue and ask what they need or help out by walking some of the dogs in their care, I’m sure they’d really appreciate any help you can give them.