Two weeks have gone by. In the space of 14 days, it feels like we have watched the evolution of a dog. As is usually the case, as she has started feeling better and becoming more comfortable, Jenga has become almost a completely different dog. In mostly good ways…the ways that aren’t so good are completely workable. The positives highly outweigh the negatives and she continues to become more enjoyable every day. She is by far the goofiest dog either Paul or I have ever met. She has zero clue how big she is, and, though that sometimes manifests itself as a paw to the face, it is extremely funny to watch her pounce around like a puppy or a chihuahua. But, because an adopter may not find it quite as funny, we are working on not jumping… a lot. You can see how hard it is for her to not jump, she literally seems to be bursting with excitement at times. But, she enjoys treats and praise so much, that keeping four on the floor to get what she wants is becoming easier for her.
Another thing we are working on is chewing. It is pretty obvious at this point that Jenga never had an appropriate toy to help her get her energy out. She is a big fan of Paul’s shoes, so, we have to be careful not to leave them around, or, they will end up in bed with her….just like towels or the bathroom rug. She still doesn’t do anything to those items, just likes to have them with her. The shoes on the other hand, if given enough time, I have no doubt she would chew on them til they were in bits. Her favorite toy is the super- hard Nylabone and she will chomp on that for hours. This is another issue that I know we can work out, and simply replacing the wrong item with the appropriate one seems to do the trick. She also loves Kongs, and will try to get food out of them long after it is gone. She is amazingly skilled and patient with these.
We have been working on crate training, too, and this part is going amazingly well. I admit to suffering from a bit of crate- guilt, despite knowing better. Rocco routinely crated himself for years and chose to hang out in there even when he didn’t have to, and Jenga seems to be making the same choice. She is in there right now, sleeping, as we are trying to build up the length of time she spends in there. She does whine a bit at first when we leave, but, settles down quickly and seems much less anxious in there resting than just in the bedroom.
Working with and getting to know Jenga has been a true pleasure. She is totally treat and praise motivated, and is willing to try just about anything. She is very trusting, and I would consider her a “soft” dog. We have done some group walks, which have gone well and she and Rocco can take treats near each other….but, crossing a physical threshold is something that has only happened due to Jenga escaping. I simply do not trust Rocco enough, and unlike Angie, who would give it right back, Jenga sort of shrinks away from his bullying. However, Jenga has escaped twice and honestly, it was kind of funny…she sort of slinked into the living room and this morning she just came up on the couch. It took Rocco a minute to realize that she was there, and of course, he started acting like a jerk as soon as he did, so she had to go back in the bedroom. I have a friend I trust coming to help us with this later this week, and until then, we’ll continue pack walks and slow intros. Jenga and our cat Trixie are in love, though, and sniff and roll around on the floor with each other through the gate. It’s very sweet and a good indication of how easy- going Jenga is.
This week, she will get a final skin scraping to make sure the mange is gone and if it is, we will schedule her spay surgery. Once she is spayed, she can be adopted. Even as I type that, I get a lump in my throat. Just like with Angie, watching Jenga become healthy and happy has been an amazing experience. Becoming a foster parent has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and, though last night I called her “my” Jenga, we don’t intend to keep her. As another friend said, our mantra is “revolving door….revolving door”.
If you know of anyone who might be interested in adopting Jenga, please give them my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be a few weeks yet, but, the more interest, the better. Plus, if she is a not a match, I am more than happy to try to find another dog that might be a fit at the shelter. 🙂
This is the gorgeous girl outside yesterday in the sun!
A few other things worth reporting….Lovefourpaws will receive a portion of the sales from this event, which opens this Friday, to help the shelter animals. In addition to photographs of some of our adoptables, there will be adoptable animals there! This is a really exciting event, for those of us who love animals and who want to support local artists!
Another exciting thing happening for us, is that our business “La Dolce Doggie” is ready to launch! After a year of upheaval and deciding that a move to Georgia was not the best thing for us, we are starting a pet- sitting, dog walking and training service, which will serve primarily New Hope, Pa. but, we will be available for weekend sleep- overs further away for those who like their furbabies to have overnight company. The start of this business will bring us closer to our goal of saving more homeless animals and we have big dreams and plans! Please, keep us in mind if you are looking for an experienced (I had a business doing exactly this in Baltimore) service that will provide the highest level of care for your beloved beasts! Visit our awesome website, created by Paul for more information!