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So I've taken to calling my foster pug "Sugar Plum" and singing her Lou Reed songs because she is cool like that..
Went to the Apollo you should have seen him go go go
They said hey Sugar, take a walk on the wild side
I said hey babe, take a walk on the wild side. All right, huh.
She loves the part where I sing:
And the colored girls go
Doo, doo doo, doo doo, doo doo doo...
She thinks I'm a little crazy but it's all part of my method training. Loosening her up to bring out some silly. The way a happy pug should be.
So far my favorite part of being a foster mom is watching the changes they go through as they learn to trust again.
The first few days Plum was here she was terrified, trembling, hiding in the corner and crates. Her tail was always down. She wouldn't let me touch any of her areas that require meds, like her poor little ears. I had to get really creative to get the medicine in. I'd have to tether her leash to my futon, put a cone around her neck, stand behind her body and slip her ears through the back of the cone so she couldn't see the medicine dropper going in.
I couldn't spray or touch her feet with itch stop or aloe vera lotion. She didn't know how to leash walk, go potty outside. She was too scared to trust me and too weak to walk up even 3 stairs. I was pretty sure she had never been given toys before because she had absolutely no interest in them and she wouldn't take any treats from me.
So I've kept her on strict outdoor bathroom rituals, 3 protein rich meals per day at the same time along with her antibiotics, antihistamines, and cortisone and I have been patient in letting her come to me when she is ready. I just go on singing my silly songs, telling her she's a good girl, and touching her everywhere in a non aggressive way so she gets used to my hands.
It's working. She lets me touch her ears without any problem and they are looking so much better already. She is learning to trust me a little more and lets me see another side of her personality. That's what I love most about this gig....she is slowly letting her guard down and each day she surprises me with something new.
She caved around day 5 when she finally trusted me enough to roll onto her back in a submissive move letting me rub her belly. Now she actually climbs on me, pins me down and DEMANDS belly rubs. I love that her little pug ways are starting to come out now that she feels a bit better.
She shocked me the other day when I was upstairs and heard her howling for me. She somehow busted through two baby gates and a big flight of stairs to see what I was doing without her. I didn't even know she could walk upstairs!
And tonight for the first time since I've had her, she actually played with a toy. She was shaking it her mouth violently growling at.
Personality and trust wise Plum is doing great. Of course we don't know the full extent of her illness yet. Only know that her surface and most immediate medical needs must be treated first. I am being pretty vigilant about that.
I just hope we can reverse the physical neglect because this little puglet has a lot of love and charm to give some lucky family.
For now I am just happy that she's getting the curl back in her tail.