Minpinerie knew that I was leaving on a trip, and that Crystal needed to be cared for. Louise told me that Lynn would take her — she had two old minpins, and a quiet lifestyle, so it looked like a good fit.
It was with heavy heart that I packed up Crystal’s things, and a note:
Hi Lynn – Such a bittersweet note to write: well here goes:
She usually gets two meals a day, about a handful of dry food wetted with water in morning, and canned food or homemade at night, about 3/4 to a cup. She wolfs it down and would have more. I have been enticing her to sit etc. with treats — I have brought you some that she likes. She doesn’t like some treats or bones. I smear cheese on her bone – she loves that. Doesn’t like the Kong, even with cheese inside. Hasn’t shown interest in toys or balls.
At my place, her den was the blanket on a sofa. Also loved to be at the end of my bed, and it didn’t matter how much I moved around – she stayed asleep. I had steps for her to go up and down from bed, but she never did in middle of night except when she had diarrhea once. So if she gets up in night, she might be having diarrhea.My words for her to do her business is “go pee” . I think she knows it, but hasn’t asked at the door yet. If I say go pee, she usually always goes outside willingly to do it. Very few “accidents”, and then she did it on a mat.
Barking: For the first two weeks, she didn’t say a word. Barking is Biggest problem lately – I think as our bond grew, and she “bloomed”, she grew protective of me, the house and the yard. She has been fear barking at every visitor, even if she has met them before several times. I believe she can be trained out of this, as she used to bark at strangers on our walks, and now does not. She is still fearful of other dogs, but excited at the same time. She had no fear of my cat. As I mentioned, my tenant downstairs did the “Cesar Millan submission” on her, and she did stop barking for him, but I have not come up with a strategy that works for me. Try whatever you
Crate: this miracle happened only two days ago –I brought the crate back inside after not trying it for weeks, and she seemed to calm down in the crate. I guess it makes sense, as she was in a cage of some sort her whole life. But at first when I got her, she would not enter the crate in any way, even to get a treat, and I put it down to it being her transport crate from Misssouri, so she had bad association. So I am bringing the crate, and hope it is not too big for your apartment. As I say, she has usually been on sofa, not in crate. I gave her treats when I first closed crate door.
She is relaxed with house noises, even the vacuum.
Coat: Showing her her coat and leash means walk time! I always put her coat on for walks, and at end of walk, I say “coat” and undo it and she pulls one paw up to get out of it. I didn’t put her coat on for a quick “go pee”.
Pouch: She loves to go in her pouch, and will let you take her back legs and place them in the pouch, and then she settles down into the pouch, with only her front paws and head showing. It can take a bit of figuring out to use the pouch — I put strap around neck and thru one arm. I first used it when it was really cold outside, as a way to get her started on a walk, without having to pull her on her leash. then, once away from the house, I would bend down, slip my head out of the strap and place pouch on the ground with her still in it, and she just walked out of it.
Leash: She is pretty good on the leash — if she balks, I see why, and if she is scared of a dog, I try to pat and reassure her. If she is sniffing, i give her a moment. If she is pulling to go another way, I usually turn the way I want to go, and tug her gently. She usually gets into line quite happily.
Blanket: She has two Snugglis, one for where she was in daytime, another over my bed at night.
She knows how to sit. I take a treat and stand in front of her with treat at my chest. She goes into sit right away. She isn’t too good about staying sitting when the food is presented. She’s too excited.
She has had two baths in six weeks, and by second time, didn’t mind too much. I made it short.
She is a loving, curious, wonderful dog, but still nervous. I think she will do well to be around other dogs – her whole life she heard dogs, but never got to be with them.If you have any questions at any time, please feel free to call me.
On my trip, I got the first reports, and they weren’t good.
Day one: Crystal hid in her crate,wandered the apartment all night.
Day two: Refusing to go on walks outside.
Three days on: She wouldn’t come to Lynn. My heart ached for uprooting her. She’s going poop and pee inside.
One week on: Crystal apparently now coming out of crate for food.
Two weeks on: Crystal decided to join the others on a walk!
Later: Crystal perking up day by day, taking over Ollie’s bed, dancing for food. Lynn says she thinks Crystal should go to more active person.
Later: Lynn’s dog Ollie died. Lynn quite upset.
Now back home, I wish I could just see Crystal and take her for a long walk. But I think that would be confusing for her. I told the Minpinerie that I might try taking Crystal on again, if I also have a relaxed dog in the house, as a possible role model for her. I feel I didn’t give her the time she needed to become the dog she could be.
Others tell me that she is not the dog for me, that she needs quiet place with few visitors, and that she will always be high strung and damaged.