Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Time heals wounds

I’m still watching Bonnie closely after the fight. Darlin’ is feeling her cheerios, but Darlin’ is also still learning to live with dogs. Bonnie was a little hellion over the last week, but I think the negative energy may be subsiding.

Bonnie was growling and barking as though she was about to go into full attack mode when she saw Darlin’. Saturday night we had Bonnie on a leash downstairs on the couch before I came down with Darlin’ following behind me. Bonnie had to be removed from the room a few minutes until we all took our seats. She went nuts after she saw Darlin’.

The last bloody towel to be washed. This was outside, I had two others that were a lot worse. I took Bonnie to the vet and when I came home the paw prints were still wet on the floors - there was that much blood.

A couple of nights ago Bonnie scratched at her kennel at 4 am, so we tried putting her in bed with us. A short time after she jumped out of our bed growling and ran after Sam, who just happened to be walking out of our room. He looked back as though she had lost her mind. I don’t think she knew it was Sam, I think she thought it was Darlin’. She loves Sam. We put her back in her carrier and she went back to sleep.

Yesterday morning my husband let Bonnie out with Sam. The other dogs won’t budge until I get up. Instead of putting Bonnie back in bed with me, he closed the door and left her in the living room. I put her in bed with me after hearing her scratch at the bedroom door and she slept fine. He put her in bed this morning and again she was fine. She was actually on the floor with Darlin’ for a few seconds before I snatched her up to carry her as I let Darlin’ and the other dogs outside. I didn’t want to start my day with dogs turning on each other before they ever left my room.

As of last night, the energy is only slightly better. I’m aware that Bonnie would walk up to Darlin’ holding her head high and might growl or provoke a fight. Based on what I saw Darlin’ do, I’m still on alert. Bonnie is on “Nothing in Life is Free” (they all are) she is sleeping in a crate, and we are still rotating. She knows Mom means business, her tail is down when I talk to her, and she won’t hesitate sitting for any treat. There were times I would take her a dog biscuit, but not now.

They have spent time in the same room resting, but neither has walked around together or brushed against the other. I have to prevent a fight at all costs. Five dogs is more than I can handle alone if a fight were to start. It’s raining today. Once the weather clears this week, one afternoon after my husband comes home, I think we will reintroduce them in the back yard together without the other dogs.

Last night Darlin’ and Toby started to play in my bedroom floor. Chloe (the rambunctious one) came running and barking. It’s just her way. Darlin’ raised her hackles and chased Chloe out growling at her. I saw it and quickly corrected Darlin’ telling her “no” and “sit”. Chloe is not a fighter, but she is expressive. Nevertheless, I’m still learning about Darlin’.

One afternoon before the fight all of the dogs went running and barking towards the back fence. This is the picture I took of Darlin’ as I called her to distract her. For a dog to raise his hackles gives me concern, although it doesn’t always suggest that a dog is going to act out in aggression. I’d rather not find out and distract her.

These were taken seconds apart. Click on photo to enlarge. Hit your back button to return to this blog.

Because of Bonne’s aggressive behavior this weekend, we did not walk them together. Darlin’ is so fearful that it probably wouldn’t have helped anyway. Getting her to walk on a leash is a lesson in patience itself. My husband walked Toby in front of us. In order to keep Darlin’ moving I had to walk fast which meant my husband had to drop behind me. Darlin’ still doesn’t care for my husband so she was more distracted looking back. Something I have noted on our walks. She must have found shelter in street drains because if she sees a drain she pulls as though she would climb in. She doesn’t realize that she wouldn’t fit, but I’m sure she did when she was skinny.

We only walked up the street a couple of blocks. As I tried turning a corner she sat down and wouldn’t budge. A guy stepped outside on his porch and she did not bark, yet she has barked at my family at the same distance. A woman was pushing a baby stroller and commented that Darlin’ was pretty. I told her she was a fearful stray. Darlin’ just sat there stiff and didn’t bark at that woman. So her barking at my family in the house and yard is definitely a territorial issue.

Last night. My husband was sitting on the other sofa. She finally relaxed, as close as she could get to me. This is common behavior for her.

Hopefully I will see this again soon.


  1. Ah bless her heart. She is so trying to understand and fit into the lifestyle. Has to be hard when you are afraid. Your doing a great job, keep it up :)

  2. I found this blog in a round about way after noticing your Eskie on Dogs with Blogs. (Eskie's are my favorite breed).

    I have spent the last few hours reading the many pages of Darlin's story on the Petfinder blog all about when you first rescued her.

    I have cried and laughed and cheered. I know I am reading about what has taken place in the past, but it is like it is happening as I read it. I still have alot more of the Petfinders blog to read as well as this entire blog. I am addicted to this story and want to know everything that has happened.

    All I can say is you have inspired me to continue with dog rescue. I am also involved in rescue with a rescue and I foster dogs as well.

    Once again, as in past times, I have become quite overwhelmed and disillusioned- not with the dogs but with the people, the situations, and lack of help etc...

    Thanks for your true giving nature and for sharing it in these blogs. I look forward to reading and hearing alot more about Darlin and your other dogs.

    Gwyn and the dogs Casper, Buddy, Nikki and current foster dog Jazzy

  3. Agression is so hard. My dog as little as she is...huge problem. The good news is the big dogs around here are very stable.


  4. Lovely photographs - even if Bonnie is holding her little temper. ha ha Shes a doll, but do hope all of the tribe is getting along better now. Can't even imagine the patience and courage exerted daily. I am thankful they have such a loving MOM with a "never give up" attitude. Peace...Shalom. Sandra

  5. I think we are dealing with two dominant females here more than true agression. I'm going to nip this is the bud if I have to go to school myself to learn how to do it. I'm committed to living a peaceful life with all of the dogs. Thank you all for visiting our blog.