Happy Holly

I'm a bit late writing about Holly, a foster we had for three weeks. You'd think I have more time to blog without a job but I seem to be blogging less.

On April 5th we got a new foster dog, Holly, a 3.5-yr old yellow girl. She was given up because her owners weren't well. She's a little more nervous than most of our other foster dogs and it took her about 2-3 days to settle down and relax. The first few days she was extremely skittish and would scamper away if we reached too quickly for her. She still freaks out a bit if she starts to feel trapped (ie grabbing her collar, grabbing her feet) but she just tries to get away from the situation without getting aggressive. Now that she's more comfortable here, she loves affection from people. She'll often sidle up and lean on us for LOTS of petting, then she'll fall over so we can rub her belly.

Interestingly Holly is either on or off, there is no in-between right now. Other foster homes say she will relax in about a week but for now she's either crashed on the floor resting or else running/trotting around to see whats going on, never walking.

Holly is starting to play with Pete but she plays like a boxer. She'll rear up and "boxes" with her front feet but Pete keeps up with her pretty well and they'll start wrestling then chase each other over the house and backyard. It's always nice when we get a foster that will keep Petey occupied. Unfortunately her boxer tendencies also seem to influence her interactions with people. If she's really playful she'll use her paws to do some smacking but it sounds like she's better than when she first came into the system.

She's one of those funny dogs that LOVES to eat water. As soon as we're near the hose, she goes bonkers waiting for us to turn on the stream of water. She'll stay outside and attack the sprinklers for as long as they stay on. She's perfectly content to get drenched and play with the water as long as you keep it on.

Holly treated Pete a lot like a younger brother. She would hassle him to play and wrestle and then push him around to get the the water first, out the door first, etc. Pete is not a very good alpha dog (I think he's much more happy as a submissive but we don't have an alpha in this house so Petey is trying to be the top dog) so I think he gets frustrated when a foster dog easily pushes him around. Unfortunately that meant he was taking it out on Max. Pete started to attack Max a lot more, often breaking the skin, and unfortunately at random times. So we ended up having to move Holly after three weeks. Thank goodness Pete's behavior improved after Holly left the house. The Max bullying got a lot more mild, less frequent, and a lot more controllable.

Unfortunately without a playmate in the house, Pete's been looking to us for a lot more chasing around. Guess you can't always win.