I basically took her out of the only stable home she has know for the past 6 months. Mocha was dumped in a neighboring county for who knows what reason. We can only guess the trauma she went through. Malnourished, underweight, in pain from arthritis, with rotting teeth, she was rescued by CAWS from the Davis County Animal Shelter. [Update from previous post: Davis County Animal Shelter is now a majority no-kill shelter since the last time I visited there about 1 year ago.]
The past 3 days with Mocha have been wonderful: she knows I’m her new mama, and trusts me. She whines and dances when I put my running shoes on. She prances around for her food in the morning. She loves going on walks and loves her siblings (especially Charlotte Pup, who totally digs on Mocha as well).
But when I left for work this morning and she barked incessantly after me at the front door, barked because her only known stability (me) just left her alone: she freaked. I came home at lunch after about 3 1/2 hours of work and all seemed quiet at the house. Mocha and Charlotte greeted me and all four of us, Franklin included, went for a 10 minute walk. Mocha was happy, wagging tail, and psyched that I was home.
I set up the dog monitor for the afternoon, because one of my neighbors had texted me that Mocha had been barking in the morning. Thankfully, I was really busy at work so I couldn’t monitor her every minute of the afternoon. She panic-barked all afternoon, waiting at the front door, freaking out that I was gone.
I felt awful. I felt guilty. What have I done to this poor dog? Taken her out of her stable foster home and tried to provide her with love, only to leave her for 8 hours. I watched the other pets on the monitor: Charlotte and Franklin and the cats, Steggie and Mimi, all calmly watching Mocha. They watched her and had to wonder, “What is the matter? It’s ok, settle down.” But Mocha was having none of it.
Another neighbor texted me shortly before I came home from work for the day. “New dog barks… a lot.” Thanks, I know. I’ve been watching her on the monitor all afternoon and it’s breaking my heart.
I put in a call to Mocha’s foster mom, Stacy, on the way home from work and it went to voicemail. I emailed Sara, one of the CAWS coordinators when I got home: “Can you give me a call?”
Sara called me right back. I talked with her at length about Mocha’s behavior, and that I wanted this placement to work. I want to get her some CBD oil, but the pet shop nearby that sells it is only open 10-6 and I work 10-6 (my neighbor offered to pick some up for me, thank you!). Sara said she would give me a bottle. We also talked about crating Mocha. I hate crating dogs during the day. It just doesn’t seem right for them to be cooped up all day in a crate. Dogs are meant to RUN! But Sara said this could just be a temporary thing, and we should give it a try. She had a kennel that she would loan me (I loaned mine to a friend in Idaho who just got a puppy).
We met up at the grocery store so I could pick up the items. Sara gave me a lot of hope that things will work out. It takes dogs at least 10 days to adapt to a new environment. I remember Stacy, Mocha’s foster mom, told me that when they first brought Mocha home, she hid in the basement for about 2 weeks. Poor thing was terrified.
So when I got home, I set up the kennel and put Mocha’s bed that she has slept the last 3 nights in it. What do you know… she climbed right in, curled up and went to sleep. Poor old lady had a really rough day.
It reminds me of my brother’s old Border Collie, Scout, who was so neurotic that he actually LOVED going to the vet’s office so that he could climb into the kennel and be confined. So weird. My brother always said, “Some dogs just like institutional living. Scout is one of those dogs.” Maybe Mocha is an institutional-living dog too. Time will tell. Let’s hope for a better day tomorrow with CBD oil and a nice, quiet kennel.
To be continued…