Today I have six dogs – three of my own, and three foster dogs. It’s been one of those days.
My Pixie is still not acting normally since her desexing operation a week ago, so I have been keeping her separate from the other dogs and crating her at night.
The new foster dog, Sooky, has been chasing the others up and down the fence for two days, and I thought it was probably time and okay to introduce her to another dog.
I decided to put Pixie in with Sooky for the day.
Sooky took exception to this idea and to Pixie, and started to lunge and growl and bare her teeth as soon as Pixie and I went into the pen with her. She even tied me up in her chain as she tried to get to Pixie.
Okay, that didn’t work out. I took Pixie over to the other pen where her sisters and the other adult foster dog were, and she was as happy as could be.
But then Ash (the 27 kg foster dog) and Nova (my 18 kg dog) got into a full-on fight – over me. Not good. I chased them around the pen, yelling and trying to catch them and separate them, knowing full well that this could end in disaster.
I finally caught Ash, and held her still until both dogs had calmed down.
But suddenly I realised that Sooky was out of her pen, and in front of this one, wanting to join the fight. Bother!
I opened the gate between the two pens, and let some bodies rush past me into the second pen. Unfortunately, two of the wrong bodies flashed past. Never mind, the priority was catching Sooky.
Somehow Sooky ended up in the pen with Ash (and two others, one of whom quickly went back next door when I opened the gate), and promptly wanted to start a fight with her. Sooky is less than ten kg, and very skinny, and wouldn’t stand a chance against Ash if they got into a real fight.
So then I picked up a struggling Sooky and took her back to the top pen. I investigated the pen thoroughly – the gate was still closed, there were no holes in or under the fence. The only conclusion I can make is that Sooky either climbed or jumped a six-foot-high chain wire fence.
She’s now back on the chain, which is not what I wanted for her, but to keep her safe I must.
I went back and checked the combatants. Luckily, neither dog was hurt. They both had sections of their (long) fur that were matted and wet with saliva, but I can find no wounds or blood.
To top it all off, the puppy with the broken leg had been howling throughout the fracas, because I hadn’t fed her yet.
Some days of fostering dogs are better than others. This was not one of the better days.