Please will you play?

Milestones: Anuska’s First Play

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Adding a new dog to your family is lovely, but it is not uncommon for it to unsettle matters somewhat at the same time. Anuska’s first few weeks with us was a worrying time for me. As is often the case for rescued animals, I did not know her history, but it was clear from her behaviour that she was not used to living in a home. Presumably she was a puppy of a discarded hunting dog, or dumped because she herself was not good enough to hunt. As if that was not bad enough, she also got hit by a car and left for dead. It is understandable these experiences left their mark on her, both physically and emotionally.

At the beginning, most of the focus was on getting Anuska’s leg better and getting her to gain some weight as well as some trust. She had no interest in toys and was not sure what to think of her brother. Skippy is always happy and playful, and wanted to play with this strange dog that had suddenly so rudely intruded in his life, but Anuska was not interested.

I love Skippy so much and it was very worrying for me to think they may not get on, or he may in some way be unhappy with the arrangement. The condition of me fostering Anuska was that if it wouldn’t work out with Skippy, she would have to go somewhere else. Of course this is easier said than done. Anuska was well and truly in my heart by that point so I wanted it to work out more than anything.

She growled and snarled at Skippy a lot if he came too close for her liking. She also growled and snarled at me if I came too close for her liking. Even though her responses were understandable, it worried me a lot and I thought it may never work out.

Excuse the bad footage, but you can imagine how delighted I was when, after about 2 weeks with us, she showed interest in playing with Skippy and a toy (she had previously been very confused by all the plastic things Skippy dragged around everywhere) for the first time! Things were looking up!

We are now 7 months on and even though there are still some issues with her behaviour, Anuska has adapted very well to living in a home, and sharing that home with a brother. After that first play she has well and truly developed her playing skills, and even though she is sometimes a bit too rough and too possessive, she has completely embraced the concept of toys. I will post some more up-to-date playing footage in a future post.

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