Tag Archives: cats

The Lives They’ve Lived Before

 

 

callie-sleeping
Callie the Couch Dog

It is the little things that impress-frustrate-embolden me when I am with Callie. Just now I spent 15 minutes convincing her that a. the stool I brought in from the kitchen was not evil, and b. that she could possibly climb on it to get up on the couch.

“Why?” You might wonder.

Two reasons again – 1. because she can’t seem to jump up on the couch and is scared of being picked up, yet she wants to be up here all the time, and 2. because she has a lot of trouble transferring skills.

She didn’t get up on the couch, but she got her front paws up on the stool and considered how she might get from there to the sofa. But, then she got overwhelmed and stepped back down. I’m proud of her. Front paws on something new in 15 minutes is pretty impressive.

It’s different than when you are working with a puppy. A rescue, especially one who has never seen the outside world, sees everything with far more trepidation than your average puppy. They’ve already lived lives.

Callie came to us from a puppy mill. She was there for the last five years and hasn’t known anything but the inside of a cage, puppies, and the experience of being shoved in another cage for mating. Did I mention she doesn’t like to be picked up? It’s mostly because it freaks her out if anybody touches her rear end. ‘Nuff said.

callie-playingWatching her fear drives my desire to find solutions for Callie to experience the world in a much more positive way without too many accommodations. That was her life she lived then, I’m responsible for the life she lives from her on out.

 

 

One cat definitely doesn’t mind that Callie takes the couch!

pippin-on-dog-bed
Pippin the Cat-Dog

 

 

WOAH eyes, Cats, and Spilt Kibble

I wish I had saved a copy of her Petfinder photo. Her eyes were bugging out of her head (not that Cavaliers’ are known for having buggy eyes or anything), but you could see the whites the whole way around. She looked terrified.

She still gets that look sometimes; I call it her “WOAH eyes,” when something is overwhelming or momentarily frightening her.callieday1

The amazing thing about Callie is that while she seems scared, most of the time she is just hesitant until she has taken in the new situation. After that, she’s pretty mellow about whatever is new. I can usually tell when she’s scared and remove her from those settings.
Oh my, the cats, though.

When poor, un-cat tested Callie came home to find three cats who, while mostly having pleasant experiences with dogs in recent months, were oh so not amused. All three took turns puffing up sideways and hissing at her. It turns out, our cats are bigger than Callie, at least height wise. Scared the, shall we say, poop right out of her.

For days she tried to sniff them only when they weren’t paying attention, and all three realized she was scared of them. While the female cat couldn’t give a damn, the two males decided to mess with her. Our biggest scaredy-cat and the largest cat would come by when I was petting her and drape his tail back and forth across her face.

And the fact that I brought her to bed during my nap time was the biggest offense of all. There was a fair amount of staring from the cats before they slowly decided to take over the bed again, much to Callie’s anguish.callieandgigiwatchtv

I’m rather certain it was 90% WOAH eyes and 10% calm eyes that first week, the gentle eyes came when my daughter arrived and Callie cuddled with her. Aren’t you supposed to be MY therapy dog?

Ok, several weeks into having Callie, is it acceptable for me to admit that neither of us can keep from laughing when she has a spectacular reaction to something tiny brushing her backside? As in breakfast this morning. Oh, Callie. Jess brought her bowl of food into the living room. Callie prefers her breakfast together while we drink our coffee. I entered the room and went to get something from behind her; my pant leg must have touched her slightly. Suddenly, all four legs went in different directions, and half her breakfast spilled. I was given a very insulted look until Jess and I, on hands and knees, picked up the spilled kibble and put it back in her bowl while she continued to eat.

Wait, did I just say we paused drinking morning coffee to pick up spilled kibble for our dog? Not enough coffee in us to make smart decisions that early. That and Callie still fails to understand the concept of finding food on the floor. What dog forgets to check the floor after the first time they discover it?