|Nomadic SA Chick||
Meet Domino. She's an almost 8 year old, 80 pound, American Bulldog. Or, as I like to call her, an 80 pound cat full of stupid and love.
Domino is one of the most loving dogs you will ever meet, and for the most part she is very well behaved, albeit, very stubborn. Before I get too far into what it's been like having Domino as a house guest, I should share with you why and how she has come to find a foster home with me.
Domino has an owner who is currently stationed in Germany. My "sister" Meghan, and her husband, Zach agreed to take care of Domino and her brother (Kodah) while their owner is stationed overseas, because he could not take them with him. After about a year away from them, their owner finally got approval to bring his dogs onto base. So, when Meggers and Zach were preparing to move to Fairbanks this past summer a mutual friend of Zach's and Domino's owner was supposed to come and take the dogs up until their owner could retrieve them. This friend never came, and Zach and Meggers were still in charge of taking care of these two dogs, plus their own 4. Not that this was a big deal for them to handle. They had it all under control.
This was a stressful living situation for Domino who is used to a small household, with one owner to share with one other dog. Now she was sharing two caretakers with 5 other dogs. As I've said before, Domino is a VERY loving dog, and because of this she is very needy. She wants to show you love and wants someone to return this love to her as often as possible. She's very pushy when it comes to being loved. Since Meghan has become pregnant, Dom has been even pushier, emotionally and physically. There have been incidents where Dom has so desperately wanted attention that she has nearly pushed Meghan down the stairs. Something that is not good for any human, but especially for one who is carrying a fetus. So, to help with some issues I have been dealing with, as well as to help Meghan and Zach out, I offered to take Domino until their owner comes back this summer to pick her and Kodah up.
I have never had a dog before; I'm a cat lady, so Domino's arrival came with a little bit of a learning curve for me. Though Meghan says that for a first dog, Domino is the best dog to have. She has been here for nearly two weeks, and things are going pretty well for the most part, and Domino seems to be happy. She does not bark nor growl. She doesn't need to go out every hour. Meghan warned me that Domino doesn't really like the outdoors, and is usually pretty content to lay in a warm ray of sunshine, indoors. I can usually coax her out once a day to go for a walk, on top of when she needs out to do her business, though she's pretty finicky about that, depending on the weather.
The biggest challenge I've had with Domino is the cat's acclimation to now sharing their space with her. It took Achilles all of two days to get used to to Domino, and very rarely objects to anything she does, and will occasionally rub up against her or cuddle Domino. Lenore on the other hand, has taken a lot of work. After two weeks, Lenore is finally able to share a floor with Domino, with no less than three feet between them. She has also gotten used to Domino sleeping in the same room at night, and will come and go as she pleases, so long as Domino is asleep or not watching her. Lenore is even willing to share a water bowl with Domino. The only on-going, minor issue I have is trying to keep Domino out of the cat food, and out of the litter box. That last one was a bit of a disgusting surprise to me, that I've since learned is pretty common for dogs. I don't think I will ever get passed that one. At least it's easy to keep that bathroom door closed to keep her out of the trashcan.
Today we made the most progress between Lenore and Dom. As Lenore was standing in one of the living room windows, Dom came over and started to sniff Lenore. This is usually when Lenore has a meltdown, cries, and swats at Dom. But this time Lenore stood very still and let Domino sniff. When I saw Lenore start to lay her ears back, I called Domino over to me and told her to lay down. So Domino laid down about 5 feet away from Lenore. With Lenore's eyes on Domino, she imitated Domino, and laid down in the window, eyes still on Domino. There's still a standoff, but this is the first time Lenore has not lost her shit over Domino being too close to her. I have hope that one day they will be the best of friends.