View Full Version : Nervous Mum....need a little advice

Claire L
14th January 2007, 10:45 AM
Penny settled in great last night. She wouldn't take a drink so I dipped my finger in the bowl and let her lick the water, which she did lustily....
There is a connifer in our back garden ,right up against the back wall amongst the other plants and she went in there last night and would not come out. Eventually she did but she did it again this morning so I left her to it and she eventually she came back in to the kitchen.
Question is: do we dig up the connifer or leave it there????? I'm afraid that if she gets a scare she will retreat behind it again and it's just nigh on impossible to get her out. I know it's only the first day but I so want her to feel that she doesn't have to hide from anything :cry*ing: ...it breaks my heart to think that she would be frightened...we love her so much and Oh! I forgot to mention ,she hasn't soiled the house once :rah: since her arrival...she's just had her worming tablet and she's now in her bed looking up at my hubby who, by the way, was in tears this morning, reading all the lovely welcome messages in the general gallery -Thank you... :flwr: :hug:

Any advice about the aforesaid connifer would be greatly appreciated.

:flwr: :hug:

14th January 2007, 11:12 AM
Sounds like she is doing great Claire. I would just give her some time. What ever she needs to feel safe now is good for her. You too will become her "safe" zone and then in time she will come to you rather then the connifer. And she is probably just exploring a lot right now too. I wouldn't worry...just love her to bits.

matties mum
14th January 2007, 11:16 AM
Sounds like she is doing great Claire. I would just give her some time. What ever she needs to feel safe now is good for her. You too will become her "safe" zone and then in time she will come to you rather then the connifer. And she is probably just exploring a lot right now too. I wouldn't worry...just love her to bits.
I agree with what mary said give her time she will settle and could to you and your OH ----Aileen

14th January 2007, 12:09 PM
Let her have the tree to retreat to -- she will probably abandon it quickly enough. Try giving her a crate to retreat to inside the house -- take the door off, cover it with a dark sheet or towel, and she can use it as a quiet, dark dog house. That will give her a friendly option to the tree. Also when she is the crate, toss some treats in when you are passing; or praise her quietly but still leave her alone. Soon she will feel very happy to choose the crate for her retreat space.

Also work on her recall to you. Start by calling her name and when she responds, even just looks at you, treat and praise. This will make her know that coming to you when she hears her name is always a good thing! You want her to want to come out.

If needed, maybe you could trim back a bit of the conifer so she can be reached -- but personally I wouldn't bother. Give her a week or two before you decide this needs to be done. :).

Cathy T
14th January 2007, 03:58 PM
In agreement with everything above. Poor little girl just needs to learn to trust again. I guarantee you she's going to figure this out from you in just a matter of time.

14th January 2007, 04:16 PM
I agree with Karlin on this one, Claire. We had, until last summer, a long row of 30ft+ high conifers at the bottom of our garden.

When we've had fosters in and indeed Charlie as well, they all used to hide in them when they first arrived. It's best to just leave her and she'll come out when she's good and ready. Everything is so new to Penny remember - she's used to living outside etc. She'll soon get used to being a 'real Cavalier' & wanting your lap over anything else.

Claire, when Charlie came to us he wouldn't come near any of us as he was so scared. Now he thinks he owns the place & sulks if Maxx dares to lie in his fave place LOL

I know it's really hard but just give her all the spce she wants at the minute and you'll soon have yourself an extremely attached little girlie :lotsaluv:

14th January 2007, 04:23 PM
If it wasnt the tree she would find another way to show her doubt. Time is all you need - she will see how much you love her, care for her and make her days wonderful - she will forget about hiding soon enough. This story of yours is so sweet for you and her! Its one of those "christmas stories" that just brings tears to your eyes because of the happy for all ending.

14th January 2007, 05:05 PM
Claire - I agree with all that's been said - when we first got Bran - the little ruby who was found at the dump, well he wasn't shy but if he heard a loud voice, like me calling one of the kids especially my son, who lives up in the attic (i'd be shouting at the top of my voice for him) no matter where Bran was, he'd scurry away and hide - either behind a chair or under a bed where he was unreachable, or scurry out to the garden and hide behind a small fenced area we had there. It broke my heart because obviously he had a bad experience of someone raising their voice.

At first we tried to coax him out of whatever place he had got himself into, offering him treats etc, but then we'd just talk to him normally and eventually he'd come out himself, now 3-4 months on he doesn't do anything like that anymore and pretty much ignores the boistrous LOUD voices of teenagers and kids in the house - and me also.

It takes time, on both sides, and even now we delight in discovering more of Bran's personality as he bounces around the place, he's not as quite as he was and has his own little quirks, likes and dislikes - and is so willing to please.

Penny will very soon learn to trust you and very quickly will discover this loving home she has found herself in and I'm sure she will return that love tenfold.

14th January 2007, 06:09 PM
she is just trying to have some control in a new situation, you're right to let her go free. she will be more and more trusting, and finding safe places nearer to you.

maybe you could put a bowl of water outside near her safe place. i hope she will be drinking more. i used to give zack water using a syringe, in the side of his mouth, just squirting a little at a time. He liked it, he kind of would suck on it like he was nursing. sweet.

when we got our cat fluffy, we got her from the pound when she was a couple of months old, and when we got home, she went under the huge chair, a recliner with a rocking mechanism, and i couldn't even see her, she woudn't come out for anything, we had to avoid using the chair. but then eventually she stopped going there and wanted to be out with us.

14th January 2007, 06:16 PM

Penny can't tell you what's wrong but she'll soon learn to trust you and that you & your Hubby care very much for her.

It takes a bit of space and time for her to, as you put it, come out of her shell.

Mary Alice was "overly-pleasing" when she first came to our house and you could tell that she was searching for "hints" as to what we expected.

Trust is a big issue for any rescue doggie, Penny's a lovely doggie and will soon be plonking herself on your lap.....and placing her body across your computer!!

As for the tree, at least you know where to find her, right now! :flwr: :flwr:

Claire L
14th January 2007, 08:21 PM
:flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr:
Thanks for the support and great advice guys. I realised today that my only experience with a dog has been my Rudeepoohs who was eight weeks old when she first came to join our family and she had no fear...just wanted to explore everything and snuggle up to me. Penny has obviously known great fear at some point in her life and so I have to think like her. I am learning quite quickly and, although today she went behind the tree again ,I just went in and out of the garden and talked and sang to her each time I put laundry on in the drier (it's in the shed out the back) and eventually she followed me in to the shed but I ignored her and later on she just came back into the kitchen :)

She went to the back door a few times and we let her out for a pee and she came back in again. I got her to eat some kibble and I dipped my finger in her bowl of water and she licked it again and then started to lap out of the bowl cl*p
She has wandered through the house and I guess she's just sussing out her surroundings.....little steps all the time but good ones. She follows me when I leave the room , just to see where I've gone and then goes back to her bed.

I put a crate in the kitchen and she did have a look inside it so we will leave it there and see what happens.

I can't believe it's only our first full day and already, we've come so far!

This little girl deserves to wake up in the mornings feeling confident and secure in her home... each day will bring us a step closer.

Thanks for all the advice :flwr: I'm sure I'll be back for more!! :lol:

:flwr: :hug:

14th January 2007, 10:51 PM
Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy go Penny

Claire, with you for her new Mamma, she'll soon settle in and know what a Cavalier's life is supposed to be like :lotsaluv: