Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall

Scarlett is back with SPCA for further evaluation and a new placement that better suits her needs.

While she was a joyous little gal with a heart of gold, this was not the right location for her. I’m in a densely populated area with many strangers and dogs that come and go. No matter how hard she tried, Scarlett just could not let go of fear and feral behaviors. It was unfair to her to keep pushing past her breaking point just to get through the day.

The good news is:

  • She learned her name
  • She learned to walk on a leash
  • She learned to play with toys
  • She decided inside is MUCH better than outside
  • She has every intention of being someone’s best friend for life
  • She became friends with McKinley
  • She got a professional grooming
  • She learned to bark (a little) to get attention
  • She’s 95% house and crate trained
  • She has learned to love blankets, dog beds, and pillows

What I’m hoping she can find is:

  • A home with a fenced back yard and a dog door so she can go in and out as she needs
  • That fenced back yard can provide her with more security when she’s out of doors – which means severely limiting her interactions with strange people and dogs
  • An adult who needs a boon companion all the time
  • One other small and non-agressive dog to play with
  • Lots of stuffed and rawhide chew toys

Scarlett was understandably unhappy to go back to the animal rescuer who first picked her up. BUT, she does need to learn how to be with people other than Dog Mommy.  And they can do a health and behavioral check to make sure she’s healthy in body, mind, and spirit.

It seems oddly quiet here with just Wee Little Doggie and me. No brain surgery ongoing with a stuffed bear. IMG_3197

I find myself wanting to call and ask how she is doing. That will only prolong the feelings of loss. She had a safe landing with me, and she’s in the arms of love with Keri at SPCA. It will be okay. Trusting the process.

We’re going to kick back for a few weeks before taking on a new foster. I have some walking to do with the WLD. 🙂

McKinley seems to be taking Scarlett’s leaving okay. She is, after all, the queen of my heart.


Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall

Spring ahead…fall back

Scarlett has had a mixed time of it lately. She’s started to open up somewhat with my sister, but she’s regressed a lot in other regards.

I suppose dogs can have PTSD just like humans do. She has had meltdowns repeatedly on walks in the complex, with people she has met before, at pet stores she’s been to before, loud noises she’s not familiar with, and over seeing my shadow. She even got into a spatimg_3286 with McKinley, which is very unusual – it happened once before not long after she got here. She’s flipped out and run between my legs, almost causing me to fall. There is no such thing as a relaxing walk with this girl. 😦

Someone suggested a split lead, but I’m afraid she’d end up harming McKinley during a freakout because of her struggles. She is younger, larger, and stronger. So they remain on two leads.

A dog loving neighbor has offered to be a part of the team to help Scarlett be less fearful. The last time we went to her place, Scarlett had a meltdown and cowered behind me next to the door – terrified of the extremely passive little poodle who is the omega dog of the complex – except for Scarlett.

I do believe she is hard of hearing, but not deaf. It could be part of the reason she is so hyper vigilant. She is now responding to her name, but only if it is said loudly and clearly.

There are times she’d just as soon stay on the couch in her safe spot all day and all night. I can’t let her simply shut down for long periods of time. There are days she does better. Sometimes I think we are making one breakthrough after another – the spring forward. Then there is disheartening fall back. She has made progress, but not enough (yet) to be a comfortable companion for someone who isn’t dog savvy and endlessly patient.

She won’t walk with my sister, who regularly takes McKinley on walks. Not only that, I don’t want her to hurt someone who isn’t used to her freak outs and meltdowns that are back. Now I need to find someone who is used to dogs to walk with her. Because how can she go into adoption if she won’t work with her new Dog Mom/Dad?

Expectations: I need to give them up. She is going to continue to struggle for awhile.

Answers: I wish I had them.



Spring ahead…fall back

Fear Testing

Scarlett has come a long way in her recovery from abuse and neglect. Understandably, she isn’t used to things that vibrate, make noise and flap. Some of them even make McKinley nervous – like those weird inflating/deflating figures used for advertising.

We walk regularly at an outdoor mall called The Village. Since they’ve started doing extensive work building new stores, it has been harder to take our regular walk from the fountain to the playground and back because of earth moving equipment, construction workers, and – horror of horrors – caution tape.

I keep taking her back to the scene of the crime, often on days without workers or moving equipment, but the tape does her in. Not that her adoptive home will have caution tape, but it is a way to help her become more confident.

Today we made it almost all the way down to the playground. The wind was blowing hard. The caution tape, had it been wider, would have taken off for Dallas like a wind sail. It flapped and strained and the wind made a howling noise. Scarlett gave it a few worried glances, but since McKinley and I were ignoring it, she scuttled along, tail at half mast, and made it through the walk. Had they not been spraying for bugs (or something equally toxic) by the playground we’d have finished it. I was the one who made the executive decision to take a detour.

She walked. She did not bolt. She took some time to sniff grass with McKinley. She did not obsess about where the car was because she knows she’s not being dumped.

I’m so proud of her!fullsizeoutput_786

Scarlett is still doing a little bit with the vets at SPCA but soon she will be released for adoption.

She’s a good, good girl. She needs structure in her days (and nights), but she is a very loving girl for the right home. We all need structure, right? And hugs, kisses, blankets, pillows and happy licks?

You can learn more about her through the SPCA of East Texas.

Fear Testing

Scarlett plays

Yes, I know, all dogs play. But Scarlett didn’t used to play when she first came here. She had to learn how to play. She had to learn about toys. And she had to learn that she was safe around human beings and her foster sister. She’s come so far. Watch her go!

Scarlett and McKinley playing
It was chilly out this morning too so I took them out in their matching sweaters. 

Scarlett plays

Figure out the breed

As of late, my sister and I have been trying to figure out Scarlett’s breed contributors. It got started when I found out her collar was tearing up the hair on her neck – in fact, it left scabs. No more collar – just her harness. And now it will be at least two weeks – until all the scabs are healed – before she can get groomed.

Scarlett has a smooth coat. It is mostly brindle black/brown with a small bit of enlight1white. Her hair is wiry around the nape of the neck, but there’s not much of it. When we had Sam, the Dachshund in him was obvious. His coat was a lot like Scarlett’s only his was sturdier. McKinley, on the other hand, has a plush double coat that is velvety.

McKinley has what I call a “fox face” with a pointed muzzle and prick ears. Scarlett has more of the block face of a bully breed. I did a little looking around and there are, apparently, miniature pit bulls. She’s also got a wider stance than delicate McKinley who has the gracile features of a Jack Russell. Scarlett has a wider stance like a bully breed, and with her “block head” it’s quite likely she has some of that type of genetic contribution. She’s also a bit long in the body for her legs so there is probably some Doxie in there.

She’s got a curly tail that completely flips in a circle. While I was looking for bulldog type breeds I came across pugs. My daughter has a Puggle (Pug/Beagle) and I remember that both of those breeds have a smooth, slick coat. The pug has a curly tail.

Our best guess is that Scarlett is a mix with some Doxie, some sort of bulldog that isn’t very large, or some other square bodied dog like a pug, and possibly a bit of miniature pit bull.

Whatever her origins, she’s our delicate flower. The people at the Snippet Clinic have seen her so often with her various problems (heartworm and anal gland causing the most trips) that my repeatedly bringing her out for care caused them to say, “Who knew she was such a delicate flower? She was running with the big boys in a  dog pack.” Of course, that’s easy enough to answer – no one would have known she had a sensitive stomach, or was suffering from badly inflamed anal glands, or had heart worm. She was alone. Abandoned. Living off what she could scavenge. Her pain was her own.

We still have more trips to the vet to wind up her anal gland treatment. But no impending surgery – just dogged determination to get her system working right.

No matter whether she’s a breed of space alien or part wilting violet, she’s a sweet girl. She’s so happy and so eager to please. She even sometimes responds to her name. She always responds to a warm and welcoming voice.

Scarlett is now good friends with McKinley. They walk so sweetly together (see the video) and play with toys or wrestle on the floor. They will even share a treat from the same dish. She’s available for adoption from the SPCA of East Texas.



Figure out the breed

Let’s Go for a Ride – Or Not

McKinley and Scarlett were so excited when Auntie AJ left – they wanted to go for a ride. So I got ready and… well, they weren’t quite ready after all. 🙂

We did go for a ride after the girls got through snacking on kibble.

You’d never know Scarlett was the same terrified dog who came here a few months ago. She’s such a happy girl now. Everyone who lives around us tell me how pretty she is.

Scarlett is available through SPCA of East Texas.

Let’s Go for a Ride – Or Not

Watching Scarlett Play

See Scarlett (the dog with the curly tail) play.  Click on the link to see a youtube video of Scarlett and McKinley playing. They say dogs are more adoptable if people can see them playing. She is more than a bullet point list, still photos, and descriptions. She lives and breathes and loves life. Sometimes Scarlett will spin in circles she’s so happy. 🙂

Scarlett is available for adoption through the SPCA of East Texas.

Watching Scarlett Play