The Story of Effie: Getting Through the Rescue Hiccups

October 30, 2013 | By Mellie Test

[caption id="attachment_861" align="alignright" width="150"] Stucky, Ronan & Effie[/caption]

Effie has been doing wonderfully, and Ronan and Stucky seem to have accepted her into our pack. Ronan and Effie play indoors and out, taking periodic breaks between bursts of frantic fun. Stucky and Effie play more indoors than out, but I know that leaving those two out and about the house together won't jeopardize anything; Stucky is extremely submissive, and they seem to have found a rhythm.

So, where am I still being cautious?

  • That dogs are all fed separately. Stucky and Ronan outside, and Effie inside.
  • I'm still keeping toys and treats out of the mix unless I'm there to observe - and treat-filled toys are completely out.
  • I only allow all three dogs to play together very briefly, and only when closely supervised. Stucky often jumps in with too much gusto, so I often pull him back periodically to watch.
  • I'm always very careful when I'm cooking in our tiny kitchen, should the dogs catch a scent and come wandering in, only to end up violently competing for the potential of snatching a crumb.
  • I make sure that when we're sleeping (it's been insanely hot upstairs, so we've all been sleeping in the living room), my son is away from the dogs and protected, in case anything break out.
  • I'm careful any time we walk. I'm careful where we walk, where the dogs are positioned (I still keep Ronan and Effie on very short leads on opposite sides of me from each other while Stucky gets some roaming freedom), and I'm careful to notice in advance anyone and anything that may suddenly induce frenzy so that I can distract or redirect.

[caption id="attachment_862" align="alignright" width="150"] Effie gets comfortable![/caption]

I'm laughing now because while the dogs are continuing to ease into a comfortable pack, I've hit my own snag. Leave it to the Universe to complicate matters! Last week, while on my lunch break, I snapped my ankle at the rock climbing gym. Dumb, on my part, because I went for I move I wasn't confident in, especially being so high off the ground.

Just as in having to travel for work and leave the dogs in someone else's care, here comes the unknown. Our routines have been shaken once again.

My initial fears ("The dogs will be out of control without walks! I'm letting them down as their pet parent! They'll be bored! They will suffer!") have proven irrational. The dogs continue to adjust. Instead of walking 90 minutes a day, we're spending time lounging in the backyard. Effie and Ronan initiate and stop play indoors at random intervals, and I'm allowing them to barrel back and forth down "the runway" from front door to kitchen to get their energy out. Because we're not spending so much time walking, they're actually getting more individual attention, including belly and neck rubs.

I haven't let them down. Instead, we're all adapting and feeling supported in our little "unit" despite the injection of undesired circumstance.

[caption id="attachment_863" align="alignnone" width="500"] Effie and Stucky keeping watch over my busted ankle[/caption]

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