Yes, you've guessed it. I'm talking about my band of happy dogs. I haven't mentioned them for a while for fear of boring you, but also because it's been hard work helping them to settle.
Sammy, Megan and Blondie have all recovered well from their operations. Megan had the season scent for 5 or 6 days so we kept her in the garden and balcony, while Blondie and Sammy were in the dog area behind the house.
Sammy is as lively as ever...and he is the jumper. I can get him to stop but only if I'm not holding his food bowl. He's a big boy, so when he jumps he knocks the bowl out of my hand, no matter how high I hold it, and the food scatters everywhere. If he is in our garden he also jumps all over the flowers and plants, much to Mr A's dismay.
Feeding time is the biggest issue. It is impossible to feed all three in close proximity to each other. There is a tendency to fight for food. Sadly a habit with street dogs. Even though they are fed twice a day, the street dog habit is hard to kick...every meal is attacked as if it's the last thing they will eat. So separating them at feed time is essential until they eventually realise that they will always be fed.
Megan in particular intimidates Blondie, who loses confidence and backs away. When Megan bullies Blondie, Sammy joins in....I think this is mostly territorial, because they arrived before Blondie.
I have taken each dog into our garden, on their own for a while. It seems that two in the dog area get along better than three. Even Blondie and Megan seemed better together for a while, until Megan bit Blondie quite badly on her ear, which left her very frightened. This was because I gave them each a biscuit and Megan resented Blondie having one.....it's all about food again.
Blondie spent several days last week in our garden and on the balcony. Blondie is the chewer. She chews everything she can get hold of. She has annihilated two pairs of Mr A's shoes and one pair of mine, a blanket that was her bed on the balcony, several plastic plant pots, a cushion, and the old sofa which we put under the gazebo now has a hole in it with all the stuffing removed.
It was time to do another changeover.
For the past three days Megan has been in our garden and balcony, leaving Sammy and Blondie in the dog area. It's working. Sammy and Blondie get on well without Megan and Blondie is so much more confident.
Megan, although having bitten Blondie once, is such a softy when she's away from the other two. I can control her completely. She does exactly as she is told. She adores Poppy and vice versa, so they spend much of the day in the garden together.
And who is the barker? Well all of them really. Poppy often starts it off when she spots a cat or a chicken in the lane, followed by Megan. Then Sammy joins in, and finally Blondie. It is particularly noisy when the flocks of sheep or cows pass by. However, they all settle down at night and we hear nothing from them at all, which avoids complaints from the neighbours.
They are getting used to some of the people who pass by now and don't bark at familiar faces. All in all I think we are heading in the right direction.