Progress in Mental and Physical Health

As of late our little Scarlett seems to have turned a corner. Her health is improved. As her heath improves her attitude improves. She’s about as settled in as she is going to get here and she finally feels established. Safe.

It appears Scarlett won’t need another medical intervention – not something I was enlight1looking forward to. I simply want her as healed as possible in body, mind, and spirit.

Late last night I sent a bullet point list to the adoptions coordinators at SPCA and it went like this (last bullet point just added).

  • She requires a feeding schedule or she will have accidents in the house.  Absolutely no food after 5:30-6:00 p.m  (water is fine) and she requires a couple of walks (the last being around 10 p.m. I praise her a great deal for every bowel movement out of doors. she is a grazer, although her morning food is wet and that’s gobbled quickly
  • She’s much better at walking in an area where she’s familiar, but I wouldn’t trust her on sidewalks near traffic – if she gets scared she can back out of her harness like an oiled snake
  • She’s been to PetCo and PetSmart 4-5 times – sliding doors are alarming as are people and dogs there (too much stimulation) and we will continue to work on the socialization aspect. She has never selected a toy or treat for herself even when encouraged to do so
  • She rides well in a car and can now (generally) get in/out herself without fear – now and then she needs a hand if something scares her
  • She walks relatively well at The Village (a large open air set of strip malls in blocks) when I walk them around the the block there (more socialization)
  • She’s not going to be a dog park dog.
  • She has just (in the last two days) started being able to walk up to relative strangers without looking to McKinley for direction
  • She has, in the last week, been able to go on walks without McKinley
  • She does well with adults, but rarely children – they move too fast
  • She loves to play with toys and is quite puppy-like in her joy.  She can romp and play with me, “dancing” on her hind legs and doing light roughhousing
  • She gets along very well with her foster sister and is starting to do well with friendly dogs
  • She occasionally gives a little bark, which I consider great progress! She is learning a little assertion. 🙂
  • She is not aggressive with cats, but wants to get up close and personal with the ancient 17 pound complex cat – he is not thrilled with that.
  • She is very affectionate and wants to stay in the same room with her person – if you are on the couch she will be right next to you
  • She’s fallen in love with me and wants to carry one of my socks around – which I don’t encourage because I want her to bond with her forever person
  • She loves rawhide chews (chips) and she and McKinley have “competitive rawhide chewing and hiding” games
  • She still has no idea what her name is or the purpose behind it – she does respond to a kissing noise. I’m not sure she will ever respond to a name. She responds to tones of voice
  • She loves pillows and blankets
  • She still sleeps a great deal – so she’s not just recuperating – she’s a quiet dog and always will be
  • She is not aggressive in any way and is not going to ever be a protective dog – she will, however, show her person which way to go to escape whatever danger approaches
  • She’s had nothing but positive reinforcement here and that should be continued (no yelling, etc.) or she’s likely to regress rapidly
  • She loves being out on the porch in nice weather
  • She’s not afraid of rain or storms and will walk in the rain (unless it is torrent)
  • In large part, she’s lost the terrified dog part of her personality and is almost always very happy with big doggie grins, tail wags, and big eyes of joy
  • If she’s with another small, non-aggressive dog that would work, but if there’s any significant aggression at all, she’s going to shut down – even if the dog is a teacup poodle
  • She could require regular anal gland cleaning – at the moment it has been about two weeks (crossing fingers)
  • She has long toenails and there is nothing to do about it since the quick is very long and they simply cannot be shortened any more – it can be quite an experience to have her put her foot on your leg when wearing shorts. 😀 (Note, I am hard of hearing and she has learned to put a paw on my leg to get my attention – she would do well with a deaf or hard of hearing dog parent)

Scarlett is available for adoption though SPCA of East Texas. She’s about two years old. She has had puppies and will always look like a mommy dog. She weighs about 15 pounds and is solid muscle. Her coat is now glistening with health.

She wears a vest during the day because the only thing her collar is good for his holding a pet tag.  I take her vest off at night so she knows it is time to sleep – on her bed in my room with her pillows and blankets. The vest goes on the next morning.

She loves tummy rubs, toys, romping, dancing, walking, playing with her foster sister, rawhide chips, can get an upset tummy from people food, likes an occasional Beggin’ Strip Bacon flavored, and responds very well to tone of voice. She does not like peanut butter (to hide medication) nor pumpkin or sweet potatoes. She takes chewable medicine with no problem, but I still give her a small portion of wet, warm food in the morning (every morning) so that when I need to slip in other meds now and then she has no idea and there is no problem.

If you have a yard, don’t leave her alone out there – that would be too scary unless there is a way for her to be back inside (door open). Remember, she was abandoned. She loves spending time on the porch here, but it is her choice to be inside or outside.

She will “love you forever, love you for always.” Give her an old sock you’ve worn and not washed and she’ll cherish it.

She’ll be here waiting for you. She’s safe where she is, but she needs you – forever Mom or forever Dad. And you need her – you just don’t know it yet.


Progress in Mental and Physical Health

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