Those who read our other blog know that Snickerdoodle’s rescue, Love-A-Bull, has agreed to take in nine survivors of cruelty from three dog fighting operations on the east coast. And those of you who follow us on Facebook got a little peek at an itty bitty teensy tiny pit bull type dog snuggled up in our crate over the weekend.
But most folks probably hadn’t put the two together, since we’ve been so very cryptic with our hints.
So without further delay, we are proud to introduce Pocket Petunia!
This pocket pet is so little that the beautiful Sirius Republic collar we had picked out for her — Barton Springs — couldn’t even be adjusted to fit! But at 26 pounds fully grown, Petunia does NOT let her tiny stature limit the size of her giant personality and heart full of love.
When she arrived by caravan from Dolly’s Foundation in Florida on Saturday afternoon, she was a quivery little thing. Wouldn’t walk on a leash, wouldn’t make eye contact, certainly didn’t want to play.
But a few hours later she had sniffed every square millimeter of our fenced yard and transformed into a little jumping bean. We haven’t had such a playful dog in the house since Chick was a kid!
Petunia couldn’t get enough of our flirt pole, wanting to play until she was positively pooped. Even just following us around the house and yard seemed to make her little feet dance. It’s like she knew that after a long journey, she’s finally safe.
Unfortunately, we just couldn’t provide the environment that little Petunia needs to flourish. Chick is easily annoyed by puppy-like energy and the Doodlebug is on strict rest due to his heartworm treatment. We agreed to take Petunia in for a few days because the rescue was in a pinch, but once we got her home we knew she couldn’t stay more than a couple of nights. Some dogs do well immediately with a crate-and-rotate routine, while others don’t. Petunia didn’t.
She dealt with the stress of isolation by eliminating in her crate and making a big ol’ mess every time she was left in there, and howling and growling every time our dogs passed by the room with her crate. We suspected that it wasn’t aggression she was displaying, just extreme frustration and fear of being isolated — or so we hoped. Understandable for a dog who had probably lived her whole life in a small enclosure and had just gotten her first taste of freedom.
After a long weekend of moving the crate outside six times a day for a thorough scrubbing and what felt like loads and loads of laundry on the “sterilize” cycle, we were exhausted. Just as we were about to throw in the towel and beg for relief, a miracle happened — we were contacted by the most remarkable woman, looking to foster a dog just like Petunia.
Cautiously, I talked her through all of the great things about her. Then, I slowly unraveled the challenges — “dirty dog syndrome,” some potential dog-reactivity, fear of anything new. I held my breath. “I would be honored to take her,” the angel said. Only it wasn’t an angel. It was a real live superhero– Petunia’s new foster mama.
Stay tuned for a Monday update on how Petunia is faring in her new foster home . . .