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Skina's Journal (2)

03/16/2015 - Day 1 

While Micha slept like a log after the strenuous tour, my sleep was more like that of a new mother. Always one eye open and one ear directed towards the dog corridor, all senses alert. Completely free. Nothing happened. All 3 Fellis slept through the night; Josy as always next to my bed, Shunka in her cave and Skina in her new, beautiful box. Day 1 in the new home could begin.

When the breakfast food was served, Skina was already in line with the almost starving people and watched every move I made with her beautiful wolf eyes. Like the other two, she ran after me (and my bowls).  Even now, the dry food was scorned and only a little "fine" picked out, but I was sure that we would compensate for this deficit with various low-calorie treats over the course of the day. Because with all training with appetizers as a bribe (or would you rather say a suggestion?), we have to be extremely careful that Skina doesn't get too much weight. That would be fatal, especially for a three-legged friend.

The makeshift litter box was probably below Skina's dignity, because our living room laminate had to serve as a business document again. Well, luckily we had stocked up on enough household rolls!

Skina moved boldly again between the long-established four-legged residents, she only made a slight detour around Josy when she tried to compensate for her lack of height with a deep growl. But she doesn't mean it badly - it's all just for show! Skina would see through this quickly...

Unfortunately, everyday work started again for me, while Micha had still taken a full 2 weeks off. So while I was busy earning dog food, Micha set an ingenious one  Turning the idea into reality: he built a sandbox for the veranda, which, filled with cat litter, was to serve as a makeshift toilet for Skina. 

I could count on my side of success that I was able to call Skina and she also came to pick up liverwurst from the tube. What more could you expect on day 1?!



03/17/2016 - Day 2

The night passed quietly again. When everyone was awake and had eaten their breakfast (the dry food still stayed in Skina's bowl), it was time to try Micha's sandpit. Like the day before and all night it rained and drizzled. When Skina slowly became restless and strayed through the living room looking for her, we opened the patio door and the lid of the sandpit. First hesitantly holding his nose in the drizzle, then purposefully on the porch planks in the direction of the toilet - after repeated sniffing and turning, the morning business (small and large) was done! Yay! How to get over  Sch... can be happy! Now we also understood why a conventional litter box is not suitable for dogs: far too little space to turn around.

I guess not much happened at home while I was at work. Skina came into the living room now and then and moved more confidently in her new surroundings and among the other dogs. In the evening she got her food from my hands again - and lo and behold! For the first time she tasted the dry food, too, and her bowl shone clean like freshly washed. Even "walking" on the veranda worked again; however, I began to have doubts as to whether Micha's sandbox could really be the true ultimate interim solution. Of course the porch was wet from the constant rain (it's not covered) and when Skina walked on the sand with her wet feet, it clumped between her toes and got stuck. Not nice for me as she spread the cat sand all over the rooms and uncomfortable for Skina who had to walk around with the stuff on her feet. I also tried getting the lumps off her, but I didn't want to do this multiple times a day to her. So good advice was expensive again.

03/18 / 03/19/2016 - day 3 and 4

Skina gets braver and explores the apartment; Of course, the kitchen with its delicious smells and great noises (if it rustles, Skina is part of the party!) is of particular interest. The veranda is still her "garden" and the sandpit is her posh toilet.  But I already have an idea how we can solve the tiresome sand problem... 

In the night from Friday to Saturday there was a small disagreement between Skina and Shunka, as a result of which we suddenly called a squatter and a homeless man our own.

Skina has found that she likes Shunka's cave a lot better than her nice big new one. So she took advantage of Shunka's brief absence and moved in. Our Shunka no longer understands the world! The cave has been her retreat and beloved sleeping place for years, and suddenly she is thrown out?! Homeless? So Shunka lay in wait for the right moment to repossess her property. It never occurred to the dear mouse to simply drive Skina out of her territory in the manner of a wolf. Such a good one. But Shunka waited and waited for hours. Skina smelled the roast and didn't leave her conquered dwelling for a second for most of Saturday! But then Shunka got too stupid and crumbled into the big new box. But please with the blinds down!

Even touching Skina works better; I can touch her everywhere, even on the dishes, which she actually didn't really like... one even gets the impression that she's starting to enjoy her strokes **happy** . I can put a leash on her without any problems when she is lying down, for example in her cave. She's suspicious, but she doesn't flinch or grab my hands or the leash. That's a small but significant step forward!

03/20/2016 - Day 5

Skina has now spent the 4th night with us. Again she slept through - in the "old", conquered home. Skina now walks around with a short leash on her almost all the time; it doesn't bother her at all anymore. She also seems to be relatively insensitive to noise or noise, because even a low-flying helicopter right over the porch did not in any way prompt her to leave her sandbox or even to give up the business she had started.

Today our lodger came to visit and surprisingly Skina didn't disappear as usual when a stranger comes. Great, such a fine girl!

When we're sitting at the dining table or when she's just being left alone and doesn't want to be too far away from us, Skina has chosen the spot under the dining table. That was to be expected - it's also Shunka's favorite corner in the living room. Luckily there are several of these favorite berths, otherwise our Shunka would have stood in front of the annexed zone with a bewildered face...

I'm already jittery about tomorrow when the shops are open and I can try out my "garden plan".

Holding a leash in her hand at dinner today - Skina wasn't that enthusiastic and she didn't like it that much anymore. She immediately wanted to go to her pouty corner and stupidly I let go of the leash. Stupid mistake, won't happen again. Tomorrow we continue!


03/21 / 22.03.2016 - day 6 + 7

Monday. New week new luck. After work I go shopping. I had the idea of building a small "garden" for Skina on the porch so that she at least has a bit of an "outside feeling" until the line problem is sorted out and we can go out.

Our porch is just above the balcony of one of our two tenants and has a wooden floor with gaps between the planks, quite normal. However, we are fortunate that our porch is quite a bit wider and thus protrudes over the tenant's. My idea was to lay out artificial turf for Skina, namely on the back part of the veranda where the dripping liquid does not hit the subtenant... otherwise it would be stupid. So to the store and shopped. I would have dared to dream that something as horrible as plastic turf would find its way into my car! But unusual circumstances require exceptional measures, and the constant cat sand and white rags in my living room drive me insane. Bought the lawn, cut it to size and laid it out - success across the board! What a clever dog (and what a clever mistress **cough cough**)!

Today (Tuesday) I quickly got a little tree - what's a garden without a tree? It was also explored extensively and found to be in order.

I swapped the chain leash for a normal fabric leash. We knew Skina had several leather lines on her conscience, but the rattling of chains on the flagstones made my ears ache.  At first there was no problem at all. Leash is probably leash. Only when I move to the other end of the line does Skina try to bite it, but not in panic, but now more half-heartedly. A short NO! enough for her to let go of the leash. She also stops, even if you can clearly see that she would rather flee to her corner. I won't let that happen anymore and reward my little liver sausage junkee with this one from the tube if she doesn't dance wildly on the leash, but is tense but stands still. It will!

It's hard to imagine when you only have dogs that burst into ecstasy at the sight of the leash and harness!


March 23-25, 2016 - Day 8-10

There isn't that much new to report. We continued practicing on her with the leash; after that she was always so upset that she didn't come out of her cave for many hours. She has also chosen new places for herself in my room and on the 2nd floor in the guest room - under my desk and upstairs in the guest bed. She's just looking for more hiding spots where she can keep the leash off her neck. I looked for her for half an hour yesterday and soon went mad with fear. But she couldn't be gone! Everything locked, she wasn't in her normal hiding places either. I then saw her in the corner under my desk - sleeping peacefully. It's also there when I'm sitting right next to it and working. I take that as a positive sign that Skina can definitely relax in my presence... as long as I don't take a leash in my hand.

On the other hand, she gets very restless from time to time during the day - I can understand so well that the blanket falls on her head and she wants to get out! And it hurts my heart, but the risk that she runs away outside or that we don't get her back in the house is just too great. What I wouldn't give for a proper fence around the house! We want to start right after Easter, but it's going to be quite an act of violence. Must also be escape-proof, and if Skina didn't even think of digging under the fence - our Shunka is certainly hard to beat when it comes to ingenuity when it comes to sneaking into an Isfjorden tour on your own!

26.3-30.3.2016  Day 11-15

Skina is doing really well. She still runs away very quickly if I even get close to her with a leash. She needs a lot of time. There are many corners where Skina seems to feel very comfortable, and it's also great to chill behind the armchair under the heat pump in Josy's basket! You have to try all the berths.

On Tuesday evening, Skina was in my room again, in the back of her corner under the desk. I also have a sofa bed in my room, which I use often so as not to disturb my husband when he snores...  So I went to bed in the evening and put a blanket next to my bed as a prophylactic. And what shall I tell you? In the morning I woke up  - and Skina was lying not far away from me on the blanket! What a great feeling! Very relaxed and without fear, she looked at me with wide eyes. Another small but important step in the right direction! I finally managed to take off Skina's much too small harness. It's been digging in really badly behind the front legs and the rear strap isn't anywhere near where it should be on a safety harness making it totally useless. I knew how sensitive, even panicked, Skina reacted when I touched her directly on the belt. Good question: How should I put a different harness on her? I got in touch with a very professional anxiety dog therapist who gave me valuable tips over the phone and recommended a collar to start with. Made to measure, wide and softly padded. But in an emergency, it closes and Skina couldn't get out. Measured, ordered. We will see...

In addition, the weather is great outside, and there is almost no snow left.  Now we can finally start our fence construction project.

31.3.-03.04.2016  Day 16-19

Skina has been with us for over 2 weeks now. She's settled in pretty well, we think. She is with us more and more often, no longer constantly hiding in her cave in the hallway, although she has the option of withdrawing at any time. Her preferred place to sleep is now in the bathroom on the shower mat. So I set up a mattress and all my bedding on the bathroom floor for the next few weeks! This is how I am close to Skina and she learns to trust my presence and to relax.

Shortly before the weekend there was another small onset of winter, but it didn't last long. Skina was still taken aback because her "green meadow" was gone all of a sudden...

At the weekend I was finally able to raise my big pile of topsoil - for the later playground. Tomorrow we want to clear our hallway to try a slightly longer leash in a closed room without obstacles or hiding places. Dry training - because next WE she should go outside for the first time!

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