Thursday, August 26, 2010

Part of the Pack

Stewardship is defined by Webster to be: "the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care".  I suppose, although no final decisions regarding permanent residence have been made as of yet, that you could say as a foster family it is our responsibility to be good stewards of Lucy.  If we have taken the initiative thus far, we need to continue in her care both veterinary and, well, make her park of the pack. 

The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Milan, is a big proponent of viewing creatures in various forms of packs.  Humans, dogs, whatever... there will be leaders, followers, and a sense of belonging - even 'family'.  He has a "Pack Gallery" at .  So far in our house, we have made an effort to teach Lucy her place in the pack.  We hated to think of Jack or Indy feeling displaced or superseded.  After all, they were here first! 

Since Lucy's first encounter with the BIG dogs, she has mellowed considerably.  She had been on her own for who knows how long, and felt the primal need to stick up for herself - in everything.  She would bark and try to seem as ferocious as possible, defending everything from the dish we had placed her first food in to a toy that was given to her, to "that leaf over there that I was sniffing earlier".   We "shh-d" her when she yapped, and pretty soon she quieted down.  We made it clear that yes, she had her own toys, but she may not lay claim to everything in sight.  The big dogs have their favorite toys, too, and it would be up to them if they wanted to share.  I am proud to say both Jack and Indy have been wonderful, with Indy going so far as to roll on his back and play with her for the better part of most afternoons.  Indy's been a fabulous babysitter!  With Indy occupied, Jack has had the opportunity to nap more, which has pleased him greatly.

Yesterday we went to the pet store and bought Lucy an engraved tag for her collar.  As her current stewards, I suppose that makes us the ones to call should she get out.  Today we took her to our vet, Dr. Rosie.  He said she was a very healthy terrier mix, most likely 18 weeks old, and not microchipped (duh?).  We asked out of sheer curiosity if Terriers were know to retrieve, as she has become in the habit of doing with the big dogs.  He chuckled and said "no", but that she was probably quite a bit brighter than the labs and if something looked like fun, she would be liable to try it too.  We thought it amusing; the idea of this little pup, smarter than our big labs.  (We won't tell Jack and Indy.)


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