I was searching Craigslist for a new rat cage for my daughter's rats. Ended up at the home of a woman who had a "6 month old" chihuahua she was getting rid of. The woman was living basically in squalor, and so were her animals. I believe her and her 4 children were living in a broken down bus, as that is what she brought the dog out of.
So she brings out this emaciated chihuahua that is in the fetal position the whole time. When she sets it down it just humps up in a ball. When she picks it up again I can see massive fleas craping all over it's belly. She lets me hold it and the dog reeks of urine and feces. She explains that it has been in a crate for 3 days because it is in heat and the dog's brother and father are trying to mate it. She doesn't have the money to fix it, and "hasn't slept in 3 days" listening to the constant whining of the dog in the crate. First she want $50, then $60, then $65. Mostly she just needs the money and can't handle the whining any longer.
So my husband and I get in the car to discuss. He says "Even if we can't keep her, we can't leave her here!". We give the woman some money and leave with the dog (who goes straight in the bath). I get her some doggie diapers and a vet appointment for the next day. She is now spayed, vaccinated, microchipped, dewormed, de-fleaed, and has had her nails clipped.
It's been 5 days, and we now have a completely different dog. She has begun to wag her tail (something we previously had not seen). She is putting on weight (the vet wants her to gain 33% of her body weight, which is 2 lbs). Once in a while she will even prance and act like she wants to play. She has a lot of issues still, she knows no commands (she doesn't even come when called) and has horrible food security issues (no aggression, just taking kibble and hiding it all over the house to eat later).
Now the problem:
At this point in time, she will only be alone for a few hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays while I am at school. But when I leave, or when she THINKS she's alone in the house, she is a trembling, yipping, howling mess. It's so bad it gets our Beagle/Basset mix howling. She's crated, but we live in a duplex, so this could be a problem (and my H is hopelessly in love with her, so it looks like she's staying for the long haul ).
I'm looking at ordering a "Thundershirt", if anyone has had any experience with those I'd love to hear, but in the meantime I'd love any suggestions anyone can give me about separation anxiety, rescues, chihuahuas, whatever you've got.
ETA: Here are some pictures (excuse the state of my husband, he is suffering form a Man Cold).
Also, her new name is Maisy.
[This message edited by Want2help at 2:10 PM, April 21st (Monday)]
If she's crate trained I would recommend that's how you keep her while you're all gone for extended amounts of time during the day. Her crate should be her 'happy' place...somewhere she loves to go to.
At any given time Teddy, Kyle and Marcus are napping in their crates during the day. They love going in there and getting restful sleep
They also know when we're getting ready to leave we say "get in your houses" and all three race into our bedroom and are in their houses like the little angels they are
We do have a thundershirt for Teddy in hopes and prayers it will lessen his attention barking during our parties...no such luck. A horse tranquilizer wouldn't help Teddy I do know that the Thundersthirts can work wonders for anxiety driven dogs...give it a shot
[This message edited by SI Staff at 2:16 PM, April 21st (Monday)]
My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.
We adopted a Pomeranian from a breeder and he was in really sad shape when we got him. His tail was tucked under and his nose was touching the ground. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to being him around. He didn't wag his tail for a couple of months and we didn't hear him bark, at all, during that time, either! He's been with us for seven years and he's like a totally different dog than the sad pup we brought home that day. It'll just take a little time.
[This message edited by ThoughtIKnewYa at 4:33 PM, April 21st (Monday)]
Your update below made me
[This message edited by Pentup at 7:27 PM, April 21st (Monday)]
First off...bless you all for rescuing that poor little dog!!
Aww, shucks, it was nothin'.
One of my friends says "You guys are ALWAYS rescuing SOMETHING!" (Last year, it was a squirrel my husband found in the gutter).
If she's crate trained I would recommend that's how you keep her while you're all gone for extended amounts of time during the day. Her crate should be her 'happy' place…somewhere she loves to go to.
The previous owner said she had been in her crate for 3 days straight. She definitely sees her crate as a punishment. We're working on making it her "happy place", like it is for our Beagle, who happily naps in his crate on and off all day (while snuggling and "nursing" on his blanket, at 11 years old!).
I just ordered a Thundershirt. We'll see how this works for her.
No advice. Just want to say what a wonderful thing you did for that little cutie.
His tail was tucked under and his nose was touching the ground.
This described her perfectly! Just curled up into a ball. Today she uncurled her tail and it almost curls perfectly in the opposite direction!
Larger purse so she can go with you (pocket dog).
I know! I'm totally trying to figure out if I can sneak her into class with me.
I'll definitely talk to the vet about Prozac, I hadn't even considered that.
The good news is, FWH just got home from class and she was SO HAPPY (she is 100% FWH's dog) that she actually played! She jumped up and pranced and was jumping all over him, kissing him, then brought him one of the tiny, tiny tennis balls we bought her, and she even chased it!
It's amazing. I really thought we were getting the saddest little flea ball in the world, but she is turning into such a happy little dog. Every ounce of love given to her, she returns tenfold.
I had a dog with SEVERE separation anxiety, and she did very well on Prozac. She went from a dog that had full-blown panic attacks, salivating like Cujo, digging in her crate until she completely wore herself out, to a dog that we could actually MANAGE and COULD stay in a crate without having a meltdown.
To help her feel like her crate is a happy place, get a little kong toy, stuff it with some peanut butter, and put it in the freezer. Give her the kong when she goes into the crate and she will start to associate the crate with YUMMY-NESS instead of punishment. Also, get one of your H's smelliest, sweatiest t-shirts, and put that in the crate with her too. She will feel more secure with something that smells like "her" human.
I will definitely do this! I'll go get her her own Kong tomorrow.
I second the other posters that say BLESS YOU for rescuing that adorable little bundle of love. She's totally precious!!
Thank you. She is the tiny lap dog (purse dog!) my H has always, always wanted.
You should all watch this video, but you WILL need tissues:
I'm scared! I don't want to cry anymore! We cried at the vet, they they told us she has the teeth of a 2 year old (she's either 18 months older than they told us or has just had a horrible, horrible diet her whole life) and that she is severely malnourished. We cried the whole way home! Today we cried when she started playing with my H (tears of joy, of course). We're big, sappy mush balls over this little angel puppy.
We cried at the vet, they they told us she has the teeth of a 2 year old
Her trembling reminds me so much of our sweet little girl. She did nothing but tuck her tail and tremble when we brought her home.
I want Holly now, too! Just so amazing! And the guy who got her- he was so good! He had her in his lap in under 20 minutes!
Oh, these heart stealing dogs!
I'll try to get some new pictures, now that she's up and walking around, and we can play the "What is this mutt mixed with??" game! She looks like a tiny, tiny whippet, but that may be because she's so emaciated? We don't know.
IDK, but I see a little Jack Russell in her face, esp. in the picture with your DD. I have a JRT and I see a little of my girl in your Maisy. Definitely mostly Chihuahua, tho.
Doesn't matter what she's mixed with - she's a doll!
One of my dogs has anxiety when it storms, so I got him a Thundershirt. It helps so much.
My vet also prescribed a sedative for when it thunders, but it really knocks him our, so I try to avoid it.