Apparently it is perfectly normal for a dog to be afraid of new surroundings. It is also normal for them not to eat. Dogs, even ones that are used to being in a crate, tend to cry, scratch and loudly express their displeasure when they are placed in a crate in a new surrounding. Who knew? People who have had dogs before, evidently.
Since I am not one of those people, and FKGuy’s Basset hound that chewed everything when he was three years old does not count, we are learning all of these things as we go.
It is a painful experience, compounded by the fact that I have not slept in three days. For someone normally requiring a minimum of seven hours to be exhausted-yet-functional (nine is ideal), this is not a good thing.
Among the other things I have learned:
- Adding water to dry food makes it seem like soft food, so hopefully new, frightened dogs will eat. We’ll see if it works.
- Leaving shoes in an area where the dog likes to play is a bad idea. (Chomp, chomp, chomp).
- Even a fluffy pink bed and toys do not really help the fear of the crate, much to my dismay.
- Not all tail wagging is good. Frenetic, crazed tail wagging is not a good thing and generally means the dog is scared. Sadly, I have no way to fix that.
- Babka has really sharp nails. She is badly in need of a manicure. I will not be doing this myself, because as she is terrified of a lot, I am terrified of few things, but doggie manicures are pretty high on that list.
- The best thing to do when she pouts (which is, apparently, a lot) is to ignore her. I try to work. She likes to interrupt. Good times.
- For every website that tells you one thing, there is another to tell you that you should do the complete opposite. That makes for fun reading.
- When she sleeps, she is about the cutest thing ever.
I spoke with the (very nice and patient) woman from the animal shelter. She told me that all of this is normal I am not the only one that this has ever happened to. In a few weeks it should be fine, she reassured me.
Maybe so, but a few weeks of no sleep may just be the end of me.
This weekend will be Babka’s first trip to Key West. I am going to remain cautiously optimistic that she will love the car and love her (other) new home. Am I delusional? Probably. But that is just the lack of sleep talking.
This weekend is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. I will be fasting, praying and, yes, walking the dog. I’ll be back on Monday.