Saturday, 28 November 2015

Finally We Belong To Nala

No that wasn't one of my [oh so many] grammatical or brain dead not in the moment errors - we do finally belong to Nala. Nala belonged to us from the day she moved in with us. Initially, during the discussions on the day that she came to our house the first time, we were only going to look after her until we could get her to my parents at the coast, because we (I) certainly did not think she would get on with our dogs or more Miss Piggy would not get on with her and she would not get on with my cat. By the time she left to go to her home she was already part of our crazy furry family and did not even notice Garfield, who also did not even worry about her.

Nala 27 November 2015 [2 months at our house

The decision was that she would belong to us as opposed to a dog we were looking after because she needed a home - she was not going to be the unwanted stepchild. What we did not expect was that the rehoming would go as well as it did go and we certainly did not expect her to be instantly  attached to Chad and to the extent that she attached herself to him. Chad wouldn't even let me feed her biscuits the night she came to stay because he didn't want her to attach herself to me because I was the person with the treats. Obviously I did give her biscuits, but she still attached herself to Chad straight away.

Lazy Spike

All of our animals belong to someone, but we belong to all of them. Spike is Mark's dog, but if Mark isn't here then I am next in line, then Chad and then Sheila. Jingles is supposed to belong to Chad but has no time for Chad - she is extremely attached to Sheila then it is me and then maybe Mark. Miss Piggy is my dog, but she is crazy about Chad. She will only let me put her out in the mornings and when she sees me she sees biscuits. Pluto was my dog, but I would say he was equally attached to Clint - he was OK with Chad and did not like Mark at all. One day last year he went and sat on Mark's lap - it was like a miracle. After Clinty died he used to sit by Mark's feet and cry and whine as if to beg him to bring Clint home, but other than that he avoided Mark. He was very loyal to me and Clint. Garfield was Clint's cat and slept by him all the time, but she would also sleep by Mark sometimes. So although they each "belong" to one of us, they are family animals. They get sad when we all go out, but are fine when one of us are with them at home and they get so excited when each one of us come home.

Not Nala, she belonged to Chad. If Chad left she cried, when Chad came home she was so happy, she slept until Chad woke up whether it was 6 am or 11 am she did not leave the room. We battled to put her outside at night if Chad wasn't home. She refused to eat even biltong or biscuits or meat if Chad was not at home. She carried her ball in her mouth if she had to relieve herself. If Chad was sitting in the lounge and walked out she followed him - that was from day one. She would play with me every day, she would play with Mark if Chad was at home, but she never had a relationship with Mark. He always jokes and says if it wasn't for him she would still be locked in the car. Chad didn't even know there was a dog in my brother's car and I didn't want her fighting with my dogs - Mark let her out the car to play with Spike. She was out the car earlier, but our dogs were locked in the house.

I have noticed changes in her every week. She becomes more confident each week and then on the day she turned three, on the 16th of this month, she had a complete change in personality. That day it was the most noticeable. She had also been with us for 7 weeks that day. She came to us late on the Sunday, so Monday was her first full day with us

She no longer follows Chad around the house, she is happy to let him leave the room or the house. She even cuddled up to Mark that Friday night when Chad went out. She has learnt all the naughty habits from the others. Now instead of bringing the ball to us and dropping it on the floor to be thrown again, she brings it, but grips it tightly in her mouth and we have to pry it out of her mouth like we do with Spike. I am also confident enough to put my hand in her mouth and pull it out of her grip. Her and Spike pull and grab the ball in each others' mouths and play tug of war. She does the cutest thing when we are finished playing, the ball is always full of slobber and grass and sand so I wash it off under the tap by the back door. I pry it out of her mouth, rinse it and she just walks up to the tap with the running water and takes the ball gently out of my hand and goes inside with it. She also did it when Mark washed the ball last night. Even if it is not in her mouth and we end the game and I have the ball and wash it she comes from behind and takes it from me.

She has been very docile and not aggressive at all, she didn't bark at the gate when the others barked, but if she did bark it was a very deep bark that did not suit her at all. One day Phineas, who works for us, came to help Chad tow his Uno to the workshop and Chad was out in the street and she just stood next to Chad and did not bark at all. Phineas is petrified of our dogs and runs a mile when he sees Piggy - I used to take her and Pluto to work every Thursday before Sheila worked full time for us and he would not go near them. He wasn't concerned about Nala at all. Chad goes outside with her when our gardener is here and she doesn't worry about him.

Done With Playing - Now Back To Bed

On Wednesday, I heard water running and running in the kitchen and no tap was turned on, very long story short we have a burst pipe in our kitchen under the floor and the plumber who did our bathrooms came to have a look because Mark said the leak was in the bathroom. Mark just let the plumber in, because Nala is not aggressive, but she barked at the plumber. Mark said no Nala and she stepped back and left him. Our front gate also broke on Wednesday and Mark's cousin's son-in-law has a security company and he came to fix the gate. Our dogs know him and Mark thought nothing of it and left the front door open. The guy was on his haunches looking at the motor and Mark was standing next to him with the gate open and Nala charged for him growling. Mark just shouted No Nala and she stopped in her tracks. She no longer sleeps late with Chad, she gets up when she hears a lot of activity in the house, goes outside and then goes back to Chad to sleep. On Friday, she only woke up when the gardener was here and I asked Sheila if Nala goes out with the gardener and she said no, Chd said yes, but I wasn't taking a chance because he might come around the corner and she doesn't expect him and she attacks him. I closed the side gates and told him that I was letting the dogs out. The side gates are not very high at all, but they serve their purpose. Nala went around to the gate and saw the gardener and went ballistic. She would easily jump over the gate - she doesn't even need a running start, she jumps like a jack in the box on a spring. I had to run and call her in.

Locked Away - No Chances With The Workers

So we definitely belong to her now. She knows we are hers to be protected. She is probably ok when she is next to Chad when a stranger [to her] is at our house because she can see him, to protect him if need be and when he isn't right by her she has to keep any threat away before the "threat" can get to him. We no longer battle to put her outside and she will go in and outside, play with her ball by herself outside, then come inside. She still does not bark or scratch to come in if we forget her outside. She will wander off to the bedroom and just lie on her bed or come and sit in the bathroom or our bedroom when I bath and Chad is at home. She does not have to have him constantly in her sights. She is still Chad's dog without a doubt, but she is comfortable and confident enough to do her own thing with the knowledge that Chad won't leave her and it is OK to wander away from him for a bit.

Don't Touch My New Toy

She is really and truly one of the dogs [and cat] now. Garfield has more of a relationship with her than she has with Miss Piggy and Jingles. She also plays with any ball she finds, before she would only play with her ball that she brought with when she moved in or the one she found in the carport on the day she first came to visit. Now she grabs a ball and plays. Chad went to buy her a new ball this morning and of course, no new ball is safe from Spike and he refuses to give it to her. It did get him off his butt for a change. He ran and ran and ran so she couldn't get the ball and growled and then licked her every time she came near him and the ball. I thought I would have a fight at my feet, because he came and lay at my feet and would only let Jingles near him and not Piggy or Nala. Yesterday Chad said Piggy and Nala had a bit of a fight. We have people digging up our kitchen and the noise and workers always stress Piggy out, Chad just shouted at them and they stopped. No bites or marks or blood and they are friends again.

But That's My New Ball

I didn't think I would ever be able to get attached to a fully grown strange dog, well I didn't think I would ever want to get a fully grown animal as a new pet, but we are all so attached to Nala and it has been so much better having a new pet without the puppy stage. As cute as what puppies are it has been so much better not going through the chewing up of everything and house training. Even though Nala is not so docile anymore, she is still so sweet. The other day one of our Clients said she would never have a Pitbull because she has grandchildren and she doesn't trust them with children, I wouldn't trust Nala with a little child either, just like I wouldn't trust Jingles; Miss Piggy or Spike with small kids. They don't know small children, but I would trust Nala and Spike with a small child long before I trust Jingles and I did not trust Pluto at all with small children - he did not like small children at all. He was fine with children from primary school going kids to older, not little ones.

We were thinking of making our trampoline hole into a big Koi Fish pond with a little stream going down into the other pond in Clint's memorial garden - it would look stunning with the garden all fixed up around it, but Spike would be devastated. Our dogs have had more fun on the trampoline than Clint and Chad ever had when they were younger. Even Rambo, who was a big lazy gentle giant, used to play on the trampoline and Spike loves the trampoline. I told Mark that we must do the pond, but dig another hole, we can't take their play area away (we can't do it until the drought is over and water restrictions have lifted anyway). We have absolutely no grass left in the back where they play, because of the very dry spell we have had. It will never grow again because it is not dead grass like Winter grass, it is dead, roots and all from no rain and the dogs running up and down. We have spent so much money on lawn at the back and it never grows, I think there were too many old trees and roots for lawn to grow and that area just has what I call veldt grass and now it is sand from the dogs running up and down - plus no rain. Green shoots started coming out when it rained about two weeks ago. Last weekend I threw fertilizer everywhere and the rain stopped. I am hoping it rains today. The temps have dropped, but so far no rain. The rain we had recently helped so much because the grass that we do have left is green now, but the dead grass is now sand.

And that's the latest on Nala and HER new friends...

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