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May Robinson [userpic]

Dakota and Foster Kitten Updates

November 18th, 2008 (09:42 pm)

where i am: with Dempsey & Flurry
how i am: calm
accompanied by: the dryer doing its thing

Just a quick update tonight...

Little Lora, the feral kitten my sister was fostering, has just been placed in her new forever home and has been renamed Sugar. Here's the last picture my sis took of her at her place, hanging out with Shakespeare, my sister's oldest monster of a cat:


I'm posting my promised Dakota update here too. He's been staying with us since the 9th and, though his presence here has been disruptive as anticipated, it hasn't been nearly as much so as I'd expected. He was horribly afraid of hubby to start with... which makes little sense since he was well socialized to men in his youth. I'm never one to jump to conclusions about abuse but I honestly do think, at some point in Dakota's life, a man (or men) left a large negative impression on him. It took him about 5 days but he is now quite comfortable with my hubby and will even leap up onto his lap for attention and a head scratch. What is great news, albeit also a tad confusing, is that we're not seeing an ounce of aggression from him. Despite being "cornered" early on by the scary hubby on a few occasions, he hasn't reacted aggressively at all, not even a fearful snap or bite. He's been very good with the other dogs too, though as planned (due to his size and their advanced years) he's not spending much time with our other males at all.

Why he bit a child hard enough to lightly break skin remains a mystery to me ???

Despite his comfort with the spousal unit though, he's very much a mama's boy and loves me best *g*. Well, me and his sister, Tumble:

Tumble, Dakota, and Dyna hanging out here in the computer room with me. Dyna's in her favorite spot, the belly of my massive, almost "T. Bear" sized stuffed bear, and Dakota and Tumble are curled up together, a regular occurrence since he's come back to stay with us.

Though he gets his freedom outdoors in our big fenced back-yard and in the house too, in order to be both fair to and safe with all of my gang, we've set up our 6' x 6' x-pen (exercise pen) in our den/family room dog room for him to hang out in as well. Here are a couple of shots of the siblings together in the pen - the first with them curled up together in the same dog bed - awwwwww - and, the second with Dyna too, showing the various mats, bed, plus oversized crate in the pen for them to lounge around on.

At this point I'm certain his owner will want to take him back and, since he's her dog, I can't very well kidnap him and keep him (nor would my males appreciate the big-ass interloper as a permanent fixture around here). On the plus side, he's very well behaved, fit, healthy (his coat and teeth are better than those of my gang), all of which shows the time, effort and care his owner has taken with him. On the negative side, I can't help but worry that his owner's home and lifestyle will create more upset/instability for him which could exacerbate any potential for aggression ::sigh::

I expect he'll be going home the first weekend of December, hopefully with a clear understanding between his owner and I that my door will always be open for Dakota and that I'd rather have him back before things escalate or get out of control, rather than after.

Wish us luck! Especially Dakota ;).


Posted by: phetch (phetch)
Posted at: November 19th, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)

So happy that pretty kitty got a home. She's a cutie.

As are your pups and Dakota. How cute is Dyna sleeping on a big stuffed Teddy Bear?! Mine would be afraid of that thing :)

I love how they all put on the forlorn "doggie jail" faces to the camera for your pictures. I hope things go well with Dakota.

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: November 19th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)
Terriers - Tucker

It's funny, Flurry, Dempsey, Dyna and Tumble will all sleep on that bear and Tucker was king of the bear before he passed on. All of them are related in some way to Tucker.

Yet, Kismet and her father Boomer (unrelated to Tucker) *never* sleep on it. The only thing Boom has ever done with that bear, come to think of it, is hump it (LOL).

And yeah, those forlorn faces are so pathetic. Of course they all want their freedom when I'm standing there in front of them ;).

Thanks for the good wishes. I'm crossing fingers and toes!

Posted by: Late Night Drops of Random (moondropz)
Posted at: November 19th, 2008 04:31 am (UTC)

Wanted to pop in and see your gang before I drop off to bed! Shakespeare is huge! I love cats(just badly allergic.). Oh my-the cuddle picture says it all-so adorable! I do wish Dakota well-I hate the thought of him going back and it not being the happy experience it should be.
Thanks for the update and pics!!!!

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: November 19th, 2008 04:53 am (UTC)
Terriers - Luna

I am so hoping to get a shot of the two snuggling when Tumble uses Dakota's back as a pillow. Awwwww. Of course, the minute I try to snap that shot, she lifts her head to look at me ::sigh::


Posted by: Late Night Drops of Random (moondropz)
Posted at: November 19th, 2008 01:13 pm (UTC)
Boo laughing

Awww. LOL, it never fails does it? Their hearing is just way too sharp-and they just know you're going in for a cute shot!

Posted by: hucknclem (hucknclem)
Posted at: November 19th, 2008 05:07 am (UTC)
Pete Yorn

Hey, you! I'm so glad to hear that things are going as well as you could have expected with Dakota. He sure looks happy and at home; I really think most dogs love having doggie company as well as human company - mine sure do enjoy each other. That is odd that he hasn't displayed any of the aggressive behavior while at your place. I can understand why you might have reservations about sending him back into a questionable environment. Hopefully having this extra time will provide the owner with whatever resources she needs to make things work for her and Dakota. Good luck with your babies; they're way sweet. :)

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: November 19th, 2008 05:18 am (UTC)
Terriers - Cho

He really has settled in quite well and yeah, he's happy for the canine company. If he's missing Zoe, his half sister (who's staying with his owner's mother), you wouldn't know it because he's having a blast with Tumble. He's also been great with my older girls - Flurry and his mom Kismet. Hell, he even played a little with older brother Dempsey but I put an end to it when they started humping each other (LOL). Unfortunately, that kind of play can morph into a fight and Dempsey's old bones couldn't compete with his much younger brother so we only have them out together with each other now when we're having quiet time, watching TV, and the dogs settle on the couch with me or in one of the many dog beds strewn about my living-room floor.

Thanks for the good wishes. I'm so hoping all will work out in the end.

Posted by: A. (vella_amor_dm)
Posted at: November 19th, 2008 09:01 am (UTC)

so cute!!!

i hate animal cruelty - really hope Dakota wasn't abused :(

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: November 19th, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC)
Jared Dogs

I don't really suspect Dakota was abused, at least not for any length of time. He's too good-natured and confident - in general - and it didn't take long for him to come around to liking my hubby, who is a pretty big, imposing, dominant guy. I do think Dakota was scared by a man or men in the past and that has stuck with him but I'm pleased to see that we've made much progress in less than a week.

Thanks for commenting and yeah, they are too cute :)

Posted by: A. (vella_amor_dm)
Posted at: November 19th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)

that's good then :)

Posted by: Invisible Friend (el1ie)
Posted at: November 19th, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC)

How bloody confusing and odd.

If he's really got a thing against men it seems strange how well he's settled down, so yeah I'd say you were on the right track there with "someone" hurting him, that someone being male and a strong personality, who's bullied him into a submissive role he didn't need. The very fact though that he's been won over by your hubby is just an amazing statement towards his real temperament, which again with his attitude to your gang is just perfect!

Dogs with problems have problems that other dogs don't usually accept either, so he's fine isn't he? Loved seeing his with his family, isn't that just so cute?

As for the bite? Honestly I don't believe a word of it, even a slight nip from a cross terrier is going to be nasty - Button bit clear through my thumb one day, we were playing tug with her toy, I got distracted and **OWW**. My dog and totally MY fault.

I'd be less than surprised to hear child was tormenting dog in some way, maybe unknowingly, but even so, that doesn't sound to me like a dog that's thinking about attacking a child. More likely child didn't understand dog and wailed about something that was her fault.

Nice to know someone has been looking after him, but I know you can't help but worry about him and the circumstances to which he's going back - but best of luck, maybe things at his home will change and maybe his stay with you will give him back a bit more of his confidence of where he belongs in his own home.

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: November 19th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
Jensen Prayer Hands

Hey there. It was really strange how Dakota switched gears. It was literally overnight. Hubby couldn't get his hands on Dakota unless I handled him and placed him on hub's lap or in his arms. He'd even pee and flee when hubby would get home before me and try to get him outside. Alarm barking too when hubby made a sudden move (as in simply getting up from his chair). Then Friday night, after losing his patience a bit, he grabbed up Dakota and settled him on his lap (not the first time) and kept him there for about 20 minutes... nicely petting/rubbing him but not letting him leave for a while. Next day, Dakota was bopping his hand for a rub and even leapt on his lap a few times. ???

Given the choice, I'm still Dakota's favorite person right now but he's definitely chilled with the hubby which has cut the tension in the atmosphere down by a couple of notches, so that's a good thing. Mind you, with greater confidence he's actually becoming a bit more obnoxious with the other dogs... revved up barking when the big dog passes by the x-pen, etc. Dakota does not want to go there. Coop has a great temperament but, since he was practically raised by our Russells, he doesn't have a sense of being so much bigger than them. He's put holes in my males (significant enough for stitches) when they've gone for him... nothing they didn't deserve but, since he's 70+ pounds, the potential for him to do real damage is there. Hence, why I'm keeping Dakota separate from Coop for the most part (aside from TV time when I'll have Dakota settled next to me on the couch and Coop on a dog bed on the floor).

Over all though, I'm relieved by how well things are going so far. *Commences to knock on wood profusely*

Thanks for the support and understanding with this. Good wishes are always a wonderful thing but, sympathy and support from someone who truly gets it is even better ;) *g*

Posted by: Invisible Friend (el1ie)
Posted at: November 19th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)

Oooh, interesting indeed.

If I had to take a stab at it I'd say someone had really messed up his messages by praising him for scared behaviour - it's easily done and it's as though he just got jammed like a needle on a record. See man - flee or pee or both.

I think it sounds like your hubby did exactly what Dakota needed by showing him calm and quiet strength by being the one to actually pick him up - (your hubby is obviously totally at ease with the dog even if a bit frustrated) then calmly restraining him without stress and I think the penny must have dropped for the poor dog and he was able to shove his anxiety behind him and default to the happy little dog you have now. Sometimes a break through like that is just amazing to see and sounds to me like that's what's happened.

Don't blame you at all for being cautious though, nothing's gonna stop the little rascal testing his limits and strength against the other dogs and you just don't need that anxiety over him or FOR him. I've never known a dog yet that has any perspective AT ALL over size issues, maybe it's not in their capability eh?

As long as you keep in mind your potential flash points, which from what I can tell you've already got covered in spades - Dakota will have one hell of a holiday. **hugs**

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: November 19th, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
Terriers - Tuck Cody Window

I'd say someone had really messed up his messages by praising him for scared behaviour - it's easily done and it's as though he just got jammed like a needle on a record. See man - flee or pee or both

Excellent analogy and I'd bet you're right. I definitely think they "suck him up" too much and that's likely been an unintended reward for the behaviour. Plus, I'm guessing her relationships (including and since the hubby) have gone south and perhaps she and her daughters took a little pleasure and even encouraged his anti-male behaviour without realizing the impact they were having.

I am hoping that his time with us will help curb his fear of men. I'm going to try to expose him to more men while here but, between Canadian winter starting to set in already and my efforts to not neglect my own gang while he's here, he might not get as much exposure as I'd like.

I do think he's enjoying his stay with us and isn't fretting or pining at all. He'll be happy to go back home though, I'm sure. Here's hoping all will be better and they'll actually settle for an extended period of time when that happens.

Posted by: leelust (leelust)
Posted at: November 19th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)

Yay for Lora!
You know, i think maybe there wasn't abuse but something like yelling? Dacota fast adjusted to your hubbs - so he wasn't too scary about men but he was sceared anough in the beginning so he just wasn't use to be around men - maybe his owner just yell at him to stay away and don't mess around? Anyway it's not proper behaviour for dog owner i suppose *sigh* Maybe you'll be lucky to talk to him heart-to-heart and he'll understand... Good luck! To all of you.

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: November 19th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
Terriers - Cho

Dakota hasn't lived with a man for years so I think you're right... maybe some men in the owner's life (either the hubby who's no longer there or someone she dated perhaps) scared him and, no one has been around to help change his mind about men. Hopefully this stay with us will help him re-adjust his way of thinking about/around men.

Thanks for the good thoughts ♥

Posted by: leelust (leelust)
Posted at: November 20th, 2008 07:34 am (UTC)

Thanx to you for updating!

You know, i was thinking - maybe they were arguing a lot? And у just was scared of their yelling to each other? Also it depends of level and tone of man's voice - some men talk with such loud voice that dogs think men yelling at them (i know cos my father has such voice - he doesn't yell AT my dog, he just talks but my baby thinks he's yealling and sometimes wants to hide).
Anyway, i hope he'll be ok and that more important i hope everything will be ok for him (and you) when it'll be time for him to go to his new home.

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: November 20th, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
Terriers - Luna

Thank-you! I really hope so too.


Posted by: leelust (leelust)
Posted at: November 21st, 2008 09:15 am (UTC)

My fingers crossed, just in case :)

Posted by: nonniemous (nonniemous)
Posted at: November 20th, 2008 01:22 am (UTC)

What a cute kitten! And I'm glad to hear that Dakota is better than you'd thought, in terms of temperament and how he's been cared for. HOpefully the upheaval in his owner's life will sort itself out soon and you can both breathe easier!

He looks like he's enjoying the family reunion, sure enough! Sweet puppies.

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: November 20th, 2008 01:36 am (UTC)
Family Again

Hopefully the upheaval in his owner's life will sort itself out soon and you can both breathe easier!

From your keyboard to God's eyes, that's what I hope too. Things are definitely going easier than I expected, so far.

He's certainly not pining or depressed and, for me, I really enjoy the siblings hanging out together. I want to get some pictures of him with his mother but, with the dog shifts we run, they're never out together. This weekend I'll have to do some shuffling just so I can hopefully get a few Kodak moments ;)

The kitten is adorable, isn't she? I'm actually amazed my sister gave her up. she had a million logical, practical reasons to do so but that coloring is close to her big ole cat's plus she's so darn cute, I expected her to cave. Sounds like a great home though.