Introducing Willow, Our New Dog!
Been a while since my last blog post, apologies! Been a lot of family drama, that I wish not to stir up anywhere. Sadly I wish it were the same for the other part in this diabolical, but what can you do? In the chaos of it all, I brought a new dog home! Her name is now Willow, we decided to give her a new name for her new start! She is an Alaskan Malamute. People end up assuming she is not full, but she just has coloration that is not widely seen. She is a black and white Alaskan Malamute with a full face mask. She is precious.
Willow came into our home, with a large amount of difficulties. She had a nasty bladder infection that had been untreated for a long while. If we had not noticed what was going on right away, we may have lost her. Then we also found out that she was shot in the face at one point from a shotgun with buckshot. So this makes the second pet I have rescued in a year, that has been shot. The vet said we should remove the buckshot because it could cause an infection and depending on what the buckshot was made with, could cause other problems. YAY! He said that this had to of been months ago that it happened. My heart breaks for her.
The first night Willow was home, we gave her a bath. I went to the store and got dog shampoo for her, to help with her shedding. Then I got her in my standup shower and she almost broke my foot with her weight and turning. I had a deep bruise for 2 weeks, but luckily nothing major. I washed and scrubbed and rinsed, rinsed & rinsed some more. The water coming off of her was black and she had so much matting behind her ears, her back legs, tail and under her belly. It was awful! I could not get the mats out sadly, so scheduled a grooming appointment.
The humane society made me sign an agreement to have her spayed, so she was due to do that almost immediately after we brought her home. So the grooming appointment couldn’t be until 2 weeks after bringing her home. She was a hot mess when I brought her home, and was only calm if I laid on the floor with her and rubbed her face. It made my injury of my shoulder flare up, but totally worth it to make her stop pacing and whining. By the second day, she was back to normal!
We also had difficulties with her using the house as a bathroom, but luckily in about 2 weeks I had that all figured out. She has only had 2 accidents in the house since I got her “potty trained” and it was my own fault one of those times. I had forgotten to let her out before I made dinner, and as a dog will do, she let me know! The second time was because of her separation anxiety that she suffers from. It is SOOO BAD. She ended up eating hamster food and threw up all over and pooed all over. It was a mess, but she is feeling better now.
I usually do not have to leave the house too much, except to go grocery shopping and go to hang out with my friends every other weekend. There is usually someone still here with her then, but I finally got my shoulder looked at from the injury I got when building dog kennels, end of the year. I have to go to physical therapy 2 times a week so she is home about 3 hours by herself and I decided to crate train her. She broke out of her crate each time and destroyed my house. After talking to the vet I have to do a whole host of things before leaving the house. Tested some during my last appointment and she scratched up her neck breaking out. So this weekend I tested a few more things out and she still gets really anxious and salivates all over, but no more fear of her harming herself to break out. I plan to get her a thunder shirt, just to try. Maybe she just needs a dog hug?
When I first brought her home, she did not seem to know how to hold a dog bone I had gotten her. She watched my dog Trixie eat hers for about an hour, before she finally managed to hold it in her paws. Treats are weird as well, but she has that down now! Playing fetch and other games with dogs, she had to learn. I felt bad, it was almost like she had no idea how to be a DOG. I think after the couple weeks we have had her, she seems to get it.
After about the first week of her being with us, she learned to “ask” for dinner and going on walks. I make my dogs be polite when getting fed, or going out on walks. They have to sit. It is now to the point where I just have the food bowl in my hand and she sits like my other dog. Then when it is time to go outside or for a walk, she will sit as soon as she sees the leash in my hands. We have managed to get her to walk on a leash without pulling and she does zero jumping. Persistence, patience and pats seem to be how she likes to do things. I couldn’t have her pulling on her leash for a number of reasons. I did not want her yanking my kids to the ground, hurting my shoulder or just being a rude dog.
Every day and night when she goes on her walk, she makes friends with everyone she sees. They seem to know her by name now and absolutely adore her. She does not jump and loves to get pets from everyone. She especially loves Sunday morning when people are at the restaurant uptown after church. Everyone stops and calls her beautiful, a larger smile you never saw!
I hate how she cowers sometimes when we go to pet her. It just makes me really sad. Shes an incredibly happy dog who loves to stick her big face into everything you do, but every so often when I go to pet her she gets scared. She seems to love everyone, and would probably let a burglar in and show him where all the good stuff is for some attention. No matter what she seems pretty happy, unless startled.
She is 92 pounds of love and is the most gentle thing with my 3-year-old, and it seems Bug is also the one that gets Willow to listen to her dog commands faster than anyone. The humane shelter where we got her, told us that they had her working with the disabled group that comes in once a week and said how gentle she was and sweet. So I went ahead and got her registered as an emotional support animal and I am working now on getting her trained to be a therapy dog. I want to take her with my girls and visit nursing homes and hospitals. Willow has calmed my anxiety and always seems to make me smile, no matter my mood. She loves making people happy and so I want to help her do that.
It has been a roller coaster of a ride with her, but one I am not at all regretting. Shes made an amazing addition to our family and I couldn’t be happier. She just needed patience and love, and it seems I needed her patience and love too.