Struggling With Play Time

calicosrspecial

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Awwwwww, Tucker is ADORABLE!!!

:/ Yes. Well, no one can "fix" every one. It is very humbling. :(

:/ Yes. Behavior is usually insecurity. Could be on and off pain, discomfort in the paws, legs, etc. Could be space issue. I just helped someone with that issue (they thought it was some huge issue and it was a space, size issue).

Agreed :/

Well, he just needs to specific home. I agree, they need to know how to deal with a dog like that. He is adorable!!! I have had dogs with bite history. If a person knows how to be around them they can get out of it.

GREAT!!!! :)

Oh wow. Well with school starting it is probably best.

Good. Awwww, poor thing. :(

Arghhhhhhhhhh. :( Well, it could be genetic BUT I believe those situations happen because of environment. :( You never know what gone on in a house. Why not the father? Protective? You probably had better vibes with him. Body language, confidence etc matter with dogs like that. I hope the trainer can work with him. Ughhhhhhhhhhh, this could be a bad situation. :(

Awwwwwwwwwwww. He seems like be ill be fine.
 

Animal Freak

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I think he's kind of an odd-looking dog. Sort of a weird mix of traits.

No, definitely not. Apparently that volunteer's dad is adopting two of our more feral cats as barn cats. He has a heated barn, so they'll have a nice place. It is kind of sad because one of them is still just a kitten, but she just has not relaxed or progressed at all in her time here. I hate sending kittens off to be barn cats, but at this point she's just constantly stressed and terrified. I don't think it's good for her.

Yeah, the cages don't offer much space. Otherwise, I'd try bigger, taller boxes, but they just won't fit. The manager said if we get lower on cats, we can put her and one other cat who's on the same diet in a room together, but that doesn't look like it's going to happen. We just keep getting more cats.

Sure, but how many of those homes are there really? It's one thing to send him off with someone who is very experienced with dogs, especially potentially aggressive dogs, a professional trainer, etc., but unfortunately, those homes are very few and far between and he isn't the only dog we have who would benefit from that kind of home. He also hasn't done great in past meets, so how many meets should we put him through to find that one-in-a-million home? I think there needs to be at least a solid plan in place that's had some success so that way we can set the adopter up for success and not just say, "Here, take this aggressive-acting dog who'll probably try to bite you over food at some point. Good luck!" He doesn't have an actual bite history yet. I'd rather keep it that way.

Yes, that's why I was willing to give it up. I'm actually doing fine with school though and I think I'll be able to go up to the shelter for training this week.

This is the other cat I mentioned that will be going to be a barn cat. I kind of wish we'd given him more time to adjust as we've had cats take much longer to come around, but I don't know his history either and being FIV+ makes it a bit harder.

You know I always question people and what they might've done to make a dog react in such a way, and I agree, you can't know what happened in the house. But something just doesn't quite add up to me. Maybe the aggression isn't genetic, but weak nerves can be genetic as well and that can also make a dog react aggressively. He's just now about a year old, which is a common time for issues to come up. I don't know why he was fine with the father. Just attached to him. She said Dax was aggressive whether or not the father was there, so not resource guarding him, but makes me go back to weak nerves. The father might have been his safe place. If that's true, he might not want that place invaded and yet feel insecure without it. I can assure you, I was extremely nervous approaching this 'aggressive' dog. At that point, all I knew was that he'd bitten multiple people on multiple occasions. I don't know much about that particular volunteer, but she's been working with McLovin' so I'm guessing she's experienced working with dogs. I hope the trainer can help too.
 

calicosrspecial

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Really? Hmmmmmmm, I think he is so adorable. Maybe the picture doesn't show it all?

Oh wow. Heated barn is good. :/ I know, a kitten. But is there a better option? The risk is he doesn't have a spot if she does need one. Ughhhhhhhh, it is so difficult. :(

Yes, they can be tight, small. It would be nice if it was just a size/space issue.

:/ Point taken. :(

That is great!!

Ohhhhhhhhhhh. Yes, probably a good move then. It is so hard, yes more time, but then is that option not available? Those are such hard decisions. :(

That all makes sense. You were extremely nervous? Interesting, dogs usually react to that. The other volunteer must be pretty experienced. Yes, HOPEFULLY the trainer can help. :/

You are experiencing the tough times. :( A lot of stuff going on there. BUT there will be successes.
 

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He probably looks a little better in that picture than in real life. He's not really my type of dog either way, but he just seems to have odd proportions. A lot of people like him, but I never seem to end up liking the ones everyone else does because there was another dog that drove me crazy and everyone else loved him.

Yeah, it's definitely not the worst situation. Well, I think there could be better options, but just none that are currently available. She was so, so scared. I don't think she'd come out of it at the shelter. At best, she'd end up like Keanu who still couldn't get a home, but I believe she's even a litter older than he was when he came in. Not at all aggressive acting, but so stressed.

It would certainly be one of the easier fixes, if we could get her out of the cage. She's in a three-tier cage. Looks like a really tall ferret cage, but it doesn't have much width to it.

It is difficult. I don't blame them for sending him as a barn cat. He'll be well taken care of for sure and probably have a better life than most barn cats. It's just a lot of what ifs. Like, what if he did end up friendly? What if that space could have been given to actually feral cats? But he'd probably take a while to get adopted and we currently have way more cats coming in than going out.

Well, I've already been bitten once. I tend to be cautious with all new dogs and especially those with a history of aggression. But his body language was good which helped me feel more comfortable and I try to act confident. I haven't really worked since he came in, but they've posted some updates and I did go for training yesterday. He apparently really freaked out when they first got a slip leash on him, but they set it up so he keeps a leash on and it's hooked up outside his kennel, so we don't have to go in and put one on him. They've been able to get him out and he's doing better than he was the first couple of days, but I do worry everyone is getting ahead of themselves. They act like he's making such great strides, but the owner said he could be friendly. He's not aggressive 24/7. The problem is we don't know what might trigger it or if we'll trigger it at all. Maybe it was something specifically to the house that caused it. Or maybe the aggression will come out as he gets more comfortable in the shelter and isn't so fearful.

It is tough, but manageable. I just feel kind of out of the loop at work since I haven't been there.
 

calicosrspecial

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Could be. Interesting. I guess that pic didn't show the proportions really. I liked his face.

:( It is so sad. Yeah, it s so hard to know what is best. The shelter was not good for her it seems. :/

Yes, it could be the width. I hope. :/

:/ Totally agree. :/ It is the story time and again. All you (we) an do is our best. :/ Sometimes we don't have all the solutions or answers.

That first day bite, correct? Yes, it is a balance between caution and confidence and neutrality (non-threatening) etc. Yes, good progress but agree have to continue to watch. But so far it sounds good, let's hope it continues. Yes, so many unanswered questions. Only time will tell really. I hope he ends up fine. :/ It doesn't seem t be a gender trigger which is good.

Yes but good it is manageable. Oh totally, things move so fast so quickly. :/
 

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He's just a weird dog in general. Lol. He eats everything. When he was surrendered, we were told he'd eaten a sock. He's eaten a cat toy, the string of a mask, clumps of dead grass...

No, definitely not good for. It was quite sad seeing her so stressed and scared, but it sucks to give up on her too. I think she was a little too old be tamed in the shelter. Some of the real young kittens come around even in the shelter environment, but the slightly older ones seem to have a harder time.

Well, I hope we figure it out one way or another. It's going to be very difficult to get her adopted if we don't.

For sure. We have so many cats stuck at the shelter at the moment. We had three come in who were born feral but were socialized from early on. They were brought in as adults but had a difficult time adjusting. One just recently gotten adopted. We have three really old cats (12-15 years), two of whom are very scared. And Archie has been with us for several months even though he's come such a long way and has become such a sweet cat. Dan did finally get adopted though. I'm very happy for him.

Yes. Yeah, I always get myself scared because I know nerves don't help, but that just makes me more nervous! I do feel more confident in my ability to read dogs though and have learned to kind of trust myself. Sometimes you just get a 'vibe'. I didn't get that sense from Dax when I first met him. It's just such an odd situation and I don't feel like we've figured anything out. I'd feel better if we knew a trigger or at least had some idea of what was going on in his head when he acted out.

We had a dog returned yesterday, had a new dog come in today, are having another returned Saturday, are getting two new dogs on Saturday, and apparently also have two dogs coming the weekend after that. :doh:
 

calicosrspecial

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:( That is not good.

:( It is sad. Yes, once they get a bit older it can and usually get tougher. It is just a hard situation. But all we can do is our best.

Yes :( It is hard to fix in a shelter. I wish someone could foster. If it is medical or size it could be solved but behavioral would take some time and a foster would have the same issues and then the new home would as well. It breaks my heart. :(

Ughhhhhhhhhhhh, How old are the ferals? Were they feral (living outside) when they were brought in or were they in a home? Good one got adopted but if they were bonded it could be tough for the other two. :/ :( Older cats. :( And they probably suffered from trauma (losing their guardian). Makes sense they would be scared. Great Archie is coming along!!! And good job Dan!!!! It so breaks my heart. I take care of a feral colony and I WISH I could take them all in. And then those in a shelter, I can't even go in because I break down. :( There is so much love in them but just not enough humans for all of them. :( Heartbreaking.

:/ Yes, that is common. Trust me, I feel it as well. Though my time of being able to handle it is going away to quickly. :( But with ferals I am pretty confident. Dogs are more willing to engage while cats are less likely to. Kinda hard to explain. Yes, most dogs are easier to read but sometimes you get one that surprises. :/ Agreed, sometimes there is a vibe. Yes with Dax. Sighhhhhhh, it is not good there isn't anything clear or at least you have an idea. That unpredictability is a challenge. Sometimes it is chemical or something traumatic in the past. Ughhhhhhhhhhhh

Oh my. Why the returns? Personally I just don't understand it. But maybe it is best for the dog..................................... Ughhhhhhhhhhh
 

Animal Freak

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No, not good at all. He eats leaves too. Just munches on them the entire time he's in the play yard. He's taught other dogs to eat leaves as well, so it's spreading. I've also had a dog refuse to come for me once which she'd never done before and I can only imagine Tucker taught her that because he can be difficult. :doh:

She was still pretty young, young enough to be tamed for sure, but yeah, not in the shelter. She'd need to be with someone who could actually take the time to work with her. It just wasn't going to happen there.

It would be nice, but we don't have many fosters for cats and most people don't want a cat that pees outside the box. She's a very sweet cat.

Well, they're not really 'feral' at this point. I don't their age exactly, but young adult. Like, one-ish, I want to say. I believe they were outside, but from what I could figure out, I think the lady was taking care of their mom and so they've been with people since they were kittens. They are friendly, really friendly actually, but they just take a while to warm up. They went a while without even coming out to eat, but are doing so much better now. They do seem to genuinely like each other, but the two seem to be doing fine without the third. Yes, I feel for the older cats. They should not be at the shelter and will likely have a very difficult time getting adopted. We have a 12-year-old who is very sweet, but the other two are so scared. I did get to pet one and he seemed to enjoy it, but the other backs up if I look at him wrong. Yes, my Danny boy. Love that cat. I'll miss him. I hope Archie gets adopted soon. He deserves it. Well, I suppose the shelter cats could be worse off. We do our best to have the adults in the rooms, so they have space and company and they do get attention. I feel for the ones in cages, but even then we give them as much space as possible.

I think my biggest change is that I can at least pretend I'm calm and, even if they can still sense the anxiety, I think they can read my body language and see that I'm calm and non-threatening. Yes, dogs can be a bit easier in that way. Yeah, the one that bit me was a bit of a surprise. But I could see clear changes in Dax's body language when he met me vs. when he met the other lady. It was like a totally different dog. Apparently, this lady who comes in and helps the trainer might be taking him as a foster this Sunday.

I don't know. We always seem to have a lot of returns. The dog coming back tomorrow is a very sweet, easy dog. Confident, affectionate, playful, not over-the-top energetic, dog friendly... She shouldn't be coming back. I don't know what the reasoning for it is.
 

calicosrspecial

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:( No. That is even worse teaching others........................

:( Very common sadly

Exactly. It is a catch 22. Especially if it is an easy fix it is really sad.

That is really good. It sounds like they should be able to be adopted. They aren't really feral, I agree. GREAT!! Yes on the older cats but things happen. :/ It is better than the alternative.

Yes, animals are perceptive. :/ But in time maybe the fear and anxiety become less and are less of an issue. You must be getting better. It is interesting you could see the difference between you and the other person. OH wow, that would be great to have a foster for him.

I think it happens everywhere sadly. Most of the time it is the humans that are the issue (imo). People want to have perfection, easy, etc and don't realize just like them, no one is perfect. :/
 

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Yeah, it's not great.

We had a lady interested in adopting another nervous kitten yesterday. Said she had to talk to her husband, but she'd probably be back to get him this morning. Haven't heard of him getting adopted though. :(

We managed to get an empty room and put Heather and two other cats on the same diet in that room. I have not noticed any deliberate peeing outside of the box, so I do think it's more of a box issue. However, we're limited on very tall boxes and have not had a ton of success in finding boxes tall enough. It's so weird because I've seen her pee in the boxes multiple times and have yet to see anything abnormal. She gets in, she squats, she pees normal. Yet we know she has to be doing it.

Those other two ex-ferals were adopted. :) They went together. That left just one cat in their room, so she was moved and that's the room Heather is in now. I feel really bad for the older cats. Polly seems okay. She seems to be handling life at the shelter fine. Spaz, one of the oldest ones, has calmed down a bit and enjoys some pets, but still doesn't really come out. The other one that he came in with is still very frightened and is tense every time I check on him. He's completely non-aggressive but does not want to be touched.

I was in the yard with Dax for the first time a couple of days ago. I hadn't done anything with him up until then. He mostly ignored me. Came up to sniff me really quick at one point but was mostly interested in other dogs. Definitely really likes dogs. The lady is taking him as a foster today.

Apparently, she was chewing stuff up, which she did chew up a blanket in the shelter, but I don't feel like it would be difficult to deal with. Just play with her, give her things to do, and don't leave her unsupervised with anything she can chew up. But she was adopted yesterday by someone who adopted from us a year ago. We had to do that meet with their dog.

A man brought in four kittens for TNR on Sunday. They're all pretty well socialized. The two friendlier ones he's giving to his grandmother, but said we could keep the other two, so we did. One is a solid black short-hair and the other is a black fluffball with a white splotch on the face. The fluffball with the white is adorable, but does seem to be the most timid of the four.
 

calicosrspecial

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Yep :(

Fingers crossed!!! Hopefully it is no because of sympathy but because she thinks she can help.

GREAT!!! Well, now we can find out. So terrific!! Let's hope it is a size issue.

GREAT!!! So great they were adopted together!!! I know on the older ones. Polly should find someone. Spaz sounds good as well. Poor other one. Just lt him initiate contact and don't force the affection. Win the cat over with food. Fingers crossed.

Wow, that is great!!!

Agreed. Wow, that is great.

Awwwwwwww. Most timid is hopefully not that timid. The looks should help. Awwwwwwww, LOVE THEM!!! Pictures some time???? ;)
 

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Well, another kitten from that litter got adopted. No idea who the adopter was though. I don't think it was a sympathy thing, but do think it was based mostly on looks. He's almost solid white with some black on his tail, so pretty unique looking and the white ones always draw attention. Sounds like it would've been a pretty good life. She said she has a 7-month-old kitten she wanted a friend for and has a room just for them with tons of toys and whatnot.

We need bigger boxes though! I'm not even sure if they make boxes tall enough... We change out litterboxes every day too, so it's hard to keep big/tall boxes in there when there's a limited number of them. We'd need at least four to be able to have them in there consistently.

Yeah, I'm not usually big on the bonded pairs and whatnot, but those guys did seem to like and benefit from each other. We had two cats who they tried to get adopted as a bonded pair because they came from the same house, but they never interacted with each other. They were typically on opposite sides of the room. Polly probably will eventually or maybe a permanent foster or something. She's a sweet girl. I think she needs to be with quieter cats though. Her and Luna did have some problems though Luna has since been adopted, so it's a little more peaceful in there. I usually offer a finger or my glasses to see if the scared one with sniff, but he never does. I don't touch if I don't even get a sniff.

Yes.

Well, I hope it's great. I'm always cautious when a dog just got brought back and is immediately adopted again. That happened with Ivy and she just got brought back again.

I don't know for sure yet. They were brought in at the end of my shift on Sunday and were all a bit nervous, of course. One was super sweet and mostly comfortable. Two were clearly quite scared, but curious. The one white the white splotch was pretty shut down. Not aggressive, but just huddled up and apparently freaked out when he was put in the trap since they were brought it in carriers. Then I saw them in recovery after being fixed Monday, but he was still a bit out of it from the anesthesia. You can bet I'll get pictures as soon as I can. I don't work until Saturday, but we have a meeting on Wednesday...
 

calicosrspecial

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Awwwww, terrific!! :)

:( Yes, many of us do and they really don't make them. Especially for longer cats. I know a lot of people have that issue. Sometimes when it isn't up against a wall that can help (give a feeling of more space).

Yes, bonded is more than just growing up together. Awwwww, Polly. That is great, I hope so. Yes, glasses are a good way, food on a spoon, anything good and non-threatening. I often just have my hand, below eye level BUT you have to watch their body language. Sometimes you get that breakthrough headbutt or rub and it is all good. Also, give her eye kisses, slowly close your eyes, hold them closed and slowly open them (if you feel like you are safe). Closing your eyes show the cat you trust them and they might return the trust. I always let the cat initiate contact a few times before I go for the touch. And then I always let them sniff etc. If I get a headbutt or a rub then I'll go in for a pet, calmly, confidently, normal, etc. I hope he comes around, if anyone can do it you can just be safe.

:)

Agreed. Ivy was brought back again? Why? Arghhhhhhhhhhh :(

That is pretty normal. One of my ferals is really social, she got trapped and taken to animal control one time and she was all scared, mean, etc. She was in the "bad cat" section where they don't come out. :( Everyone was afraid etc, I came in and she lit up, I was petting her, etc. The people were like "yep, you can take her home". I took her home (and brought her in then) and she was totally different. It is just normal. If we were thrown in jail we would be pretty cautious as well. I hope they can find that home and get back to normal. :)

Yes, PICTURES!!! :)
 

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Yeah, I'm curious what happened with the lady wanted to adopt the more skittish one though.

The only other thing I can think of is a closed litterbox. I know we've been given some, but don't know if we keep the lids or not. And then she may not like them... She's not a small cat. It's hard to mess with where boxes are because the rooms are fairly small and I try to keep the litterboxes as far from the food and water as I can.

I don't think I've tried food with them yet because they were so scared. I kind of doubt the more scared one would take food even after all this time. He's just so tense and wide-eyed every time I look at him. I always do the slow blinks, but I haven't gotten anything near it back. He just stares at me with wide eyes, so really haven't gotten anywhere in that regard. Only being there a few days a week doesn't help and I don't always have time when I am there.

Oh, no. I don't think I mentioned Ivy before her second time being returned? She was adopted, brought back in a couple of days, adopted again I think a few days later, and brought back, at which point I think I brought her up here. She hasn't been adopted again since then. She's a great dog. We've used her in training quite a bit. So, so smart and motivated and really just loves training.

Yeah, I didn't mean to act as though he was certainly terrified. He was just the most timid/fearful of the four which didn't really mean much because the others seemed very well socialized. I'd expect them to be more like the timid one, but one had settled in within a few minutes and was just wanting attention! He's doing great now though. Still maybe a bit skittish/jumpy and doesn't like being grabbed or held, but very sweet. He was rolling around, purring, kneading, etc. Definitely settled in pretty quick.
 

calicosrspecial

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Oooooooooo FABIO and STAVI!!!!! GORGEOUS!!!! :)

Yes

Yeah but closed can be an issue as well and even cause them to not even try to use it. :( Not small meaning heavy or long? Or tall legs? Can you get a picture of her? Yes, it is hard to find the right place. :/

Try a real stinky treat or something. Food is the best way to break through. They may not take it the first few times but it is a great way to get them to warm up. I do that with ferals all the time. Keep doing the slow blinks as well. It does take time sometimes. But eventually all that should work. Fingers crossed, just do your best. Cats have good memories so don't worry if you can't do it everytime. Every little bit helps.

Why is she being returned? Something doesn't make sense. :( Too much energy? Hmmmmmmmmm

GREAT!!!! Oh FANTASTIC!!!!!! YES!!!! :)

I LOVE Fabio and Stavi!!! I LOVE black cats!!!
 

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They are.

Yeah, I know, but then she could like them too. Uh, yes? Lol. She's a decent sized cat. Not like a Maine coon, but probably similar to Ash? Maybe taller, but not as long. But then she is a bit chunky. I think I have pictures of her. I'll look.

Well, apparently the less scared of the two scared cats got adopted. I'm kind of surprised, but very happy for him. Now for the more scared one... We also had another older cat who'd been with us for a while got adopted as well. One of the two that they'd attempted to adopt out as a bonded pair, but they weren't really bonded.

She just has a lot of energy and not much training. She's a sweet dog, but not one you can take a day off from. She needs her needs met every single day. She's not just a high energy dog, but she's a high energy dog without an off button. Or not much of one anyway.

Yes, I do too. Fabio and Stavi were already adopted. I knew they'd go pretty quick, but not that quick. They went together though.

Dan was returned and adopted again. :doh:
 

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Okay, so I don't have any full-body pictures of Heather, but here's a picture anyway!

IMG_2040.jpg
 

calicosrspecial

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Awwwwww, I LOVE Heather!!!! SO CUTE!!!! :)

They really are!!!

Could but sometimes they feel too confined for some. :/ Never hurts to try with an open as an option as well. Well, it could be a size issue then. Tall can be an a big issue.

GREAT!!!!

Awwwwwww. She will find the right home.

GREAT!!! :) Together is even better!!

Arghhhhhhhhhh :( Why??????
 

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She's a sweet cat. Wouldn't guess she has any insecurity/confidence issues.

That was what I was thinking as well, but I don't think we kept any of the closed boxes. I don't know why we couldn't keep even a couple.

The more scared of the two elderly cats was adopted on Sunday, but is being brought back today. :doh: I thought they were too pushy. Not patient enough. Poor cat lived with the same person his entire life. Everything has been turned upside down for him. Now to go through this...

I hope so. She's too good of a dog. She did go to foster though. I guess we'll see how long that lasts.

Yeah, I'm glad one didn't get stuck. I thought Fabio would go first since he had long-hair and the white markings, so was a bit more 'unique'. A lot of times that solid or almost solid black cats get stuck for no reason except they don't stand out enough.

They didn't do proper introductions and had issues with their other cat, the two cats fighting over food, and Dan not using the litter box. Sometimes people drive me crazy. Sometimes it's the adopters. Sometimes it's the people at the shelter. This time it's kind of both. Whenever I'm involved in cat adoptions, I try to tell them what I'd do, how to do intros, etc. Why wouldn't anyone tell them that? They had him for a few days. He can get along with other cats. He was in a room full of other cats. Hopefully this new home works out better.
 
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