Friday, March 18, 2011

Tasha (Tisha) Settling In

Just a note before I go further. In memory of a beloved Shepherd named Keesha, I thought I’d give her the same name. Then I thought not and changed it to Tisha not realizing that it was way too similar to Tina. Another name had to be bestowed so as to avoid identity conflicts. So now, she’ll become Tasha.

When I took her in, I had no second thought. At first. But as time went on, I began to wonder at that wisdom. Namely, I was afraid of Queenie’s reaction. She’s a Mastiff and they are known to react negatively, even aggressively, to dogs that they haven’t been raised with. I had seen her in action and had every reason to fear. But it had been upon meeting with adult dogs. I kept thinking that back a year ago when Mindy and Tina arrived, I had found Queenie very maternal with both. However it would pan out, I knew that I had to take infinite care and time for proper introduction to the trio.

The first few days, Queenie kept pacing back and forth whenever I held Tasha on my lap. She’d stare at the tiny puppy and her expression was unreadable. Obsessive, it appeared to be. Whenever she would approach, she insisted on sniffing Tasha but did so roughly in my view. Perhaps a Number 3 would be too much for Queenie... At one point during the first week, Tina even positioned herself between the puppy on my lap and Queenie and kept growling. It made me wonder what she had sensed, if anything.

I couldn’t keep segregating Tasha as she was gaining both in weight and curiosity. She appeared eager to approach the other dogs. Gradually every day, I let her down to check on the interaction with the threesome, all the while staying very close to them. Mindy and Tina (named after Tina Turner since she has such shapely legs like those of the singer even down to the same stance) seemed genuinely attracted to the puppy. Both Mindy and Tina took obvious care to be gentle with her. They could be feisty with each other and rough in their play, as Boxers are wont to be. So I was pleasantly surprised.

I had a full explanation yesterday. Guadalupe and I were giving a bath to each dog beginning with Tasha. Lupe had received Tasha in a towel and the puppy was protesting the treatment in her puppy voice, which sounded alarming. Queenie immediately came to Lupe and appeared very concerned, even jumping up to check on the puppy and keeping VERY close to Lupe. It was suddenly obvious that she had accepted Tasha as her charge. I then knew that she had been and would continue to be vigilant, as if the puppy had been her own. However, this scared Lupe and I had to intervene. Queenie, I’m sure, has a few kilos over Lupe and standing on her hind legs, would come eyeball to eyeball with her. If it had been me, I would have been scared too.

My goodness. I’d had nothing to worry about! Queenie, after 7 litters of a great many puppies, was just being watchful in a maternal way. My relief could not have been greater. So now, Tasha is fully integrated into the “pack”. In fact, Tasha is the one to watch. She will sneak up to a bone and bark and growl at any four-legged that would approach her and her treasure, even if it had never been hers to begin with. For a puppy barely alive some two weeks ago, she’s quite an assertive little thing!

Here are the latest photos.

Tisha 13 days later 002

All together after sunset, asleep in peace





A study in contrasts, yet act as mom and daughter!

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Tasha between Tina’s legs and Mindy’s bum



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Tasha showing a real improvement with her hind quarters filling out and even her front paws that, to me, appear larger than on the first photos, a mere 13 days ago. She’s an amazingly intelligent dog. She knows her name, the commands Sit, Come, Shush… we’re working on more.

Alone and at peace on the communal “bed”

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I was lucky to find mini-rawhide bones. Just puppy size!

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On a short postscript, Tasha had already learnt to go down the steps of the motorhome. While I was setting up this post, the dogs asked to be let in. It was only after a few seconds that I noticed that Tasha had made it in on her own! I’m so happy that I took her in. Come to think of it, I’m so happy that I rescued all four from death. What a blessing multiplied by 4!

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cruzin2some said...

What a great looking group you have there. Looks like everyone is getting along great.

Travel Safe
Dawn and Denise

Barb said...

Not only was Tasha lucky for you, she also has a nice "pack" family to play and interact with. They will teach her and be great company when you are not with her. She is a lucky girl!

Unknown said...

What a family! I want an addition too!

Anonymous said...

How sweet! Good companionship and protection for you and them.

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