Current (6/26/2011)I returned from a trip back home, and found myself at Dawn's and Ken's "Pyr Farm" to take home a new foster. I expressed to Dawn that I wanted a foster who *really* needed me. Someone sick, for instance, would make a great foster, since at the time we had no other dogs at home to contract any illnesses.
Being the rescue that it was, there were often some sick dogs. They didn't become sick by being there of course (I feel i need to say), but Dawn and Ken took Pyrs of all needs. Too often, sadly, they had kennel Cough or other upper respiratory illnesses. "Staysha", it turned out, was no different.
Stasha came to the rescue with what seemed like her entire litter. They were all 10 months old now, from Oklahoma. They were all coughing and snotty, and fearful, to say the least. Dawn described Staysha as being the most brave. Still, when i met her, she pulled from me and didn't want to stand up. I was worried; did this dog have mean tendencies? When they are sick, do we really know what they are like?
I had 4 cats at the time,and the dog needed to be pyrfect with my cats. I had a foster previously who loved them (as Pyrs are tend to do) but she was hyper and freaked them out a lot. My best friend cat, Mr. Gink, peed when he looked at her!
Dawn pulled Staysha up just enough to 'cat test' her with Dawn's cat, Molly. Staysha looked at Molly, sniffed her nose, and that was it. 'Okay', I thought.. good enough for now. In the car, Staysha tried to crawl up front to drive, as sick as she was. Naughty Staysha! I should have known she'd be alpha!
She wasn't eating at all. She just slept and was sick. I took puppy food, blended it in my blender, and fed it to her with a syringe. I did this several times a day, in addition to her dose of anti-biotics and her nebulizer treatments. It seemed like she'd never get better. She ignored me, the cats, everything. I worried that all this nursing would make me too attached to her. I was right.
Finally, one day, I offered her a treat. She still couldn't eat it. She took it in her mouth and stood at the back door for potty. She took it outside and buried it for later.. when she felt better. Sure enough, she eventually did. We learned that Staysha, who I had been calling "Ana" ( for Anastasia), still was amazing with my cats. She wasn't, however, house trained. I assume her and her sibs may have been livestock guardians, who never had to figure that out. It took months of frustrating "oppsies" until she figured it out. Honestly, she still has mistakes. But, we need patience with our babies.
I call her my "broken" Pyr, because she absolutely never barks.. almost ever. I think an intruder would find her smiling if they were to break in. On the other hand, she loves everyone and everything, and is a dream on the leash. And, like a true Pyr, can never get enough hugs and kisses!