Vito is my third foster dog. I find the first night home very overwhelming, and last night was no different. Right after a very busy day at work, I made the hour and twenty minute drive to the pick up. All 32 dogs arrived at once, straight from the vet's where they were altered. They all had records, tags, microchip information, etc, etc, etc to be sorted out. Additionally, I was picking up two additional dogs that my friend and her daughter are fostering.
Car after car was unloaded, and finally I saw my little waggy smiley Vito unloaded!
It was nearly 9 by the time I got home, hungry and road tired.
I got Vito out of his travelling crate and took him outside. It was unproductive - puppy mill dogs don't really understand the concept of "going outside" to do their business. Especially since they don't understand what "outside" is - grass, trees and fresh air are foreign things.
Vito was happy to be held. I cuddled him up, and that little tail kept wagging like crazy. He met my husband and wagged even harder, though he was a little bit shy of a new person (not that I wasn't a new person as well.)
|Vito and Vince snugglin'.|
We went into the basement, which would be Vito's new HQ. I put him down to see what he would do. He did some pacing behavior that looked like a dead ringer for a dog about to pee...and then he did pee. That was after a lot of exploring and trotting around. Vito gives good warning when he has to go potty, he has been consistent with that.
After that was exploring the finished side of our basement. He drank a bunch of water. Then was snuggling on the couch, and we both dozed off. When I woke up, I saw that my husband had relocated Vito into the recliner chair so that he could have a chance to snuggle with the little guy!
At about 3:30 AM I woke up and decided to take Vito and all of my other dogs outside for potty breaks. Vito peed outside, no problem. But once we came back to the couch (I decided to sleep with him for his whole first night), he wouldn't settle. I let him down for some more exploring and...a poop. Which he whipped around, lightning fast, and tried to EAT! I was totally startled by that, but again, not abnormal for a puppy mill dog.
|First night on a warm couch.|
The morning brought a good appetite and a pee outside. Vito joined me in the bathroom while I took my morning shower - he took a nap on my bathrobe in the corner.
So, little man is settling in really well! Husband Vince had Vito out several times today and he has not had any accidents since his whoops poop in the wee hours. I expected a lot of marking behavior out of a male mill dog, and many of the other Project Liberty II dogs have that particular problem.
I hope to see Vito build some muscle tone, stop walking with a crouched gait, learn what grass is and how to potty in it (he uses our walkway at the moment), and become more confident in general. Vito is already extremely confident compared to other Mill dogs - he really seems to enjoy being around people. He is drawn to them.
I hope that the perfect home finds him, just as the perfect home found Poppy when I fostered her last July.