As of 10:30 PM last night (Aug 10, 2014), Belle has joined our flock. She is spayed and UTD on shots. Belle will turn 6 years old on Oct 8. She is a small bichon, smaller than Riley, Tasha and Willy. Not sure on her weight yet. She was posted on CL yesterday, I was the first person to respond. She was living way up in northern NH, so her family came half way down, and we (I took the 3 fluffs ) drove up, and we all met in a Mall parking lot. In the end, the family were so enthusiastic about Belle living with doggies and no children, plus my experience working the Tasha, my puppy mill rescue, that they agreed to let her come home with us. I am Belle's 3d owner. She lived with a family with a 2 year old and a new baby arrived when she was 2 years old. From what I understand, the 2 year old wasn't as gentle or as supervised as needed, and Belle became the nervous little girl I met. Those people rehomed her to the family I met last night. They have recently become interested in car racing, and spend weekends in their camper at the car races. Their other bichon, Mimi, is fine on leash, and staying in the camper for a few hours. Belle is very nervous with all the noise and crowds. When they leave the dogs for 2 or 3 hours and return, Mimi is sprawled out snoozing, or meets them at the door. Belle is under the bed covers shaking. So they decided this was not fair to her, and posted her. This is how I came to adopt her.
I haven't sorted out exactly what the issues are, but Belle strongly believes that anything new - person or dog - is trouble and she wants to run the other way. I am sitting in the recliner now, she is at the opposite end of the sofa. If I softly say, "Hi Belle" she shakes and shivers. She shows no curiousity about this house (we are up at Dad's, return home later today). I've had to keep her on leash, as she is small and I want to know where she is, and not worry. Even if she should crawl under something, the leash will let me know she is there. Outside, she spends all her time trying to get out of the fence and take off. She shows no interest in sniffing the fenced in area, checking for smells, and p-mail and such. The things I normally see in a new arrival. She will sniff my dogs, but does not 'fall in with the pack' which is what most dogs would do.
The family I got her from said it will take her 3 or 4 days to settle. I've never known a bichon like this, except Tasha, my mill rescue. Even with Tasha, she'd spent 6 weeks at the SPR clinic and they work through a LOT of these issues there, for the mill rescues. The family also said Belle is afraid to go out for walks, will hide under the bed when anyone comes to the house, and hates noise or crowds. They said she sleeps on the bed with them at night - either their daughter or the couple, sometimes back and forth. Well this first night, she was shaking on the bed with me and the 3 dogs, and eventually jumped down and spent the night in the living room. Belle does know 'sit,' and is potty trained.
I was told the groomer sometimes has to muzzle her, and the Mom did handle most of her grooming as a result. At this point, in the photos below, she was trimmed 2 weeks back.
For now, I know she needs calm and routine. I'm not even going to try taking her for walks with us, she needs time to adapt to this huge change in her life. She came with her collar and leash; I have a small harness for her back in RI. I'll leave her in the house while we walk. Good thing I am set up with double doors to outside at both ends of the highway! She is so small, I will have to reinforce the fence at BOTH ends of the highway to prevent escapes. For now, she remains ON LEASH. Even in the house, she is dragging her leash as I need to know where she is. I've offered her treats twice (once last night after a potty break and again this morning) but she won't eat them, even after I walk away. First time, was hot dog bits, this morning was salmon grain free.
That's her background, here are a few photos.
These are not cropped, I just kept snapping while she was looking at me.
Here you can see one ear went back, she was getting worried, so I had to stop snapping for a minute.
Then I started making SOFT sounds trying to get her attention.
Riley was VERY interested in the sounds I was making! :laughing:
Please say a little prayer for Belle, that she settles in and learns to trust (me, at LEAST!), and that she is NOT successful in any escape attempts (I do NOT want to go through that again!).