Friday, 17 August 2012

My Foster Story - Poppa Cat meets Luna Dog

By Season Dennis

I have always loved animals and have a soft spot for those that are in need. This is why I had looked for my first dog in an animal rescue.

I was introduced to Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue (MMDR) via a friend’s Facebook page. The more I learnt the more I loved the rescue. I loved the fact that every dog did not get stuck in a kennel all day at the rescue but rather they are fostered in homes, trained and loved as if they were a part of a really family. Hence that is why I have adopted Luna (formally known as Brooke from Dolly's litter).

After this I felt strongly about helping in any way possible. I kept looking at the site and reading the Facebook updates as they had now felt as a part of my family as Luna is! I felt a desperate need to repay their support as they have been there through thick and thin. I not only adopted one of their rescues, they have in turn adopted me into the Mutts family.
Poppa Cat - perched high than Luna can reach!

I had tried to foster dogs and Luna was a little jealous and rough as she is still a puppy. We had to only been able to temp dogs for a short time. My boyfriend was discouraged and no longer wanted to help as he was happy just with our pup, but I felt a strong need to assist in any way possible as MMDR felt like family and they are my puppy support group.

So I bided my time and watched the Facebook page. I know that I would not be able to foster dogs at any point in time soon as my Luna was just too young. But then it came…an opportunity to help. There were a litter of kittens along with mom and dad cats that were treated poorly on the reserves. Momma and kittens would have been a dangerous mix with my pup so that was a no go. It was only when I heard Poppa's story did I really had to help no matter what.

Poppa Cat is very friendly and because of this it appears that he was taken advantage of and hurt. Apparently Poppa Cat would go up to humans to get comfort and pet. They would pick him up by his tail; and swing him around. I could not let him endure this and I knew that the momma and kittens would be saved but it was touch and go for Poppa.

As soon as I told my boyfriend Poppa's story and how sweet he was he was in. We made a plan to keep Poppa separated from Luna for a week or so as he was to be fixed just before we got him. That way he could get used to his surroundings without being chased and so that he could heal. Luna was very interest in him. After the week had passed we allowed Luna into Poppa's room (our computer room) but she had to lie down and go slow. If she stood up I took her out of the room until she lied down again. This went on for a bit. Then we opened the upstairs up to Poppa and had a baby gate at the base of the stairs so that Luna could not go up and Poppa had a bigger get away spot.
He started to come down on his own as he wanted to be pet and snuggled. But almost always Luna would chase him, and no matter how hard I tried I could not stop it. So I watched, "saved " Poppa when I could and let him come to us when he was ready.

I soon put Poppa's stuff in the basement so that he could have a bigger cooler space. Again we put up a baby gate. We kept his food on the main floor in a higher spot so that he would have to come up to feed. We let him on our dining room table and a microwave stand as an area to get away from the dog.

Poppa made the choice to test Luna more and more. He comes into our bedroom to snuggle at night, Poppa by our head and Luna by our feet. Our bed seemed to be home free, a neutral zone. Luna took the submissive roll as this is what I encourage her to do. Trying to give him toys and bones and following him. Finally after leaving them to do their own thing Luna was fed up and took a dominate roll. She took on a more motherly roll. She started cleaning him first thing in the morning in our bed. We would state "gentle" and make sure that she would not hurt him. After a while we encouraged Poppa stating in calming voice that it was okay and pet him while Luna cleaned.

Poppa still didn't want much to do with Luna and I thought for sure that this is as good as it will get. Poppa gives low growls bats (no claws) at Luna but she does not give up. Eventually one day to my surprise Poppa plopped himself on me while Luna was right at my side. I gave him snuggles and he was very comfortable. He started to come around more and more and sleeping closer and closer to Luna. Now he will sleep in Luna's spot when she is not there. I am hoping one day that they will snuggle side by side. For now I will settle for regular cleaning and being in the same room. The progress they have made has been great but they will have a way to go. If Poppa keeps this up we may just foster fail, lol!

Update: After I had written the above Luna and Poppa continue to make great progress with no interference except for a friendly reminder to Luna to be gentle. They have now twice cuddled with each other for an hour or so in the morning. The animals are making great progress on their own as we really have not done much except to make sure they don't hurt each other. Given some time I'm sure that they will be the best of friends!

No comments:

Post a Comment