Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Xena Update

Foster puppy Xena has been here for about six weeks now. She has adjusted rather well and continues to improve. Her last stay with us lasted two weeks, and she was basically too frightened to do anything at all. This time around she is gradually getting used to the sights and sounds of town.

Xena goes to doggy daycare with me every day, and she plays very well with other silly puppies. She knows how to swim, I even have pictures of her swimming with Brisbane. However, she sometimes forgets. She keeps falling in the swimming pool and work and forgetting how to swim, and after fishing her out a couple of times we have stopped letting her play near the pool.

I am now absolutely certain that Xena's vision is compromised, but getting her eyes checked is not a priority for the rescue, and not something I can afford to do on my own. I have been letting potential adopters know that she doesn't see perfectly, but it's obvious that she can see fairly well.

Xena spins in circles when she is excited, stressed, or confused. She always, always, always spins to the right, which makes me think there is a neurological component to the behavior. I have a theory that she may have been hit by a car or suffered some other major trauma when she was very young. That would account for the marked behavioral difference between Xena and her sisters, as well as her imperfect vision and tendency to move in circles.

In the last six weeks, Xena has learned to walk on a bungee leash with the help of a Thundershirt. She feels confident enough to walk instead of freezing, even in a busy parking lot, or while crossing a high-traffic street. She is still a little bit nervous when meeting new people, but is all wags once she gets a sniff. It takes her a while to warm up to new places, so I have been taking her on plenty of outings so that seeing new things because normal.

I have had several people ask how Xena is with kids, and until today I did not have a satisfactory answer. She was socialized with them quite a bit as a baby puppy, and she is less spooky about them than she is about big people. I don't have kids though, and none of my friends do either, so I haven't been able to see how she reacts. Her previous foster mom just told me today that her best buddy over there was the neighbor's four-year-old granddaughter. Knowing that she has spent many hours playing with a preschooler really helps.

Does your dog like kids?

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