Guest aceyouknow Posted May 15, 2016 Share Posted May 15, 2016 Hello Everyone! I've really enjoyed reading through these forums in anticipation of getting my hound, Sammy (formerly Cry Haymitch new name TBD?). He was just dropped off today and I'm worried I may have made a crucial mistake already. Grab a cup of tea because I do feel some backstory is necessary. Thanks in advance for your time Before we got him he was living in a home with young kids and cats, all of which he got along with just fine. His owners started neglecting him when they had a baby and realized he was stressed by the crying. They decided to lock him in a laundry room where he proceeded to chew through a waterline and flood their house (serves them right...). They then put him up for adoption on a local SPCA website and kept him outside in that time. Someone from the Grey rescue found him and took him away and put him in a foster home, where he was for about a week before we got him. At his foster he lived with two Yorkies that apparently terrified and bossed him around. I was assured by both my adoption coordinator and by his foster mom that he was cat/small furry friendly and the most mellow dog ever. This sounded like my ideal dog since we have a cat. We've had Macaroni Cat since January. He's a foster turned sponsor cat from the humane society I volunteer with. We ended up keeping him since he had multiple health problems from living outdoors and he's on the older side and would have been much harder to adopt out, also he's super cute with a great personality. We had a pretty serious health scare last month which resulted in him spending the weekend at the e-vet. Vet's orders were to keep him as calm as possible. Before anyone jumps to call into question my motives of getting a dog anyway, be aware that I've gotten the opinion of multiple vets about the possibility of him having a happy and healthy while living with a dog life. When we bought this house the intention was always to get a dog. I've been planning for this moment for nearly 30 years. I've worked at training facilities, studied scientific papers, considered breed types and I feel I have a stronger than average knowledge of dog behavior for someone that has never actually owned a dog. I installed Feliway a week ago after his last vet visit and have been dropping not so subtle hints to him that he would not be an only child for long. We actually dogsat a known cat friendly Frenchie for a weekend and Mac handled it much better than i could have hoped, by giving clear step away signals which the dog respected. When the coordinator brought Sammy to the door today Mac was sitting downstairs in the chair beside me. I asked if i needed to take him upstairs or if Sammy needed to be muzzled and he assured me it would be ok. So against my best judgement I let him in and stood anxiously beside the chair to act as interference. Sammy totally ignored both of us due to his lack of socialization and initial fear of strangers. Coordinator advised that he was like that with everyone upon meeting and was fine after a few hours (it's been a few hours and he has definitely warmed up). He brushed passed the chair multiple times and Mac would hiss but stayed put and Sammy would shuffle away. Went outside for a potty, and coordinator advised to take the leash off (again against my better judgement) as when we came back in, Mac was in the same place and Sammy continued to pace avoiding the cat at each hiss. He was here for almost 10 minutes pacing the bottom floor of the house and Mac finally growled at him walking by so I decided he'd done ok and to take him upstairs. I wasn't really paying attention to where the dog was when I went to pick the cat up since he's be avoiding me, but when I did Mac hissed and this seemed to finally get his attention. Sammy reached up to.. engage?? It's hard to say what the real intention was as I immediately turned away when I saw him reaching. I only felt him brush against my arm. The coordinator called him and he immediately backed off but when I went to take Mac upstairs and put up the baby gate he followed me and tried to poke his nose through the stair rail. I put my body between him and the stairs and walked him back into the living room. The entire time the coordinator was going through the adoption packet he continued to pace with lazer focus on the stairs and trying to put his head through the railing and walking up to the baby gate. The coordinator did not seemed super concerned with the whole interaction. He said it would just take time for them to get used to each other, but his sudden intense focus on the cat his my anxiety on level 10. I totally take responsibility for not going with my gut and using the muzzle, keeping him leashed and for picking up Mac when I started to panic. I've witnessed this very situation in dog parks and knew exactly what not to do, but in the moment I reacted on instinct out of fear for Mac. For the better part of an hour after the coordinator left he continued to pace and show interest by putting his head over the gate and sniff the stairs and the chair Mac was in. He's a big guy and probably could move the baby gate without much effort. He eventually calmed enough to hop up on the sofa with me, eat and play with a toy for a bit. I crated and muzzled Sammy before leaving to run an errand and checked on kitty upstairs. He heard Sammy whimpering and moving in the crate (I was told he has some SA) and went back under the bed. I'm worried I've ruined both of these animals. Sammy, by awakening latent prey drive and Mac by stressing him out beyond his limits. I've read through the forums here and have posts on cat desensitization bookmarked. I was feeling pretty confident about my ability to handle the introduction, but I'm really kicking myself. Sammy is dozing on the sofa looking super cute right now. I'm committed to both of these animals. Any recommendations on how to handle the situation? I'm just paranoid about there being irreparable damage, right?... Much appreciated if you made it through the novel! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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