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Ume’s Diary, Part II

Kiku, Ume, Momo, and Sakura: these 4 sisters have been fostered out to ARK’s staff members on a rotating basis.

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Now Ume chan is staying at my house.

At the house of one staff member who lives by herself with a dog and a rabbit, Ume got along great with the rabbit, but not with the dog. However, there has been no problem with my three big happy-go-lucky fellows. In fact, she’s been fitting in fine and doing really well with them. I’m wondering if she changes her attitude depending on who she’s with?

I heard that at the house of the other staff member who lives alone, she howled while the staff member was out of the house, but she didn’t howl at all when she was alone when we all went out without her.

It seems that she behaves a little differently in different places.

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To be honest, when we fostered Kiku chan, we were under a bit of pressure and that made her timidity worse.

Fortunately, it didn’t affect her too much and since then she’s been fine – getting more and more friendly. Drawing on that experience, this time we are trying not to force Ume chan to do anything unless she seems to want to do it herself. Let me tell you a bit about Ume chan’s current life.

<Day 1>

・ Ume was brought into our living room in a crate. When our dogs tried to look inside the crate, she snarled, baring her teeth and curling her lip. She looked scared. Two hours later, when our dogs had calmed down, I opened the kennel door, but she didn’t come out. Whenever our dogs looked inside, she snarled again.

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<Day 2>

・ She didn’t come out all night. I talked to her and fed her while she was in the crate. At first, she wouldn’t eat from my hands, but she started eating when I put the food on the floor. Then she ate from my hands, but didn’t eat a lot.
・ Suddenly she came of her crate and started walking around! She sniffed around, explored the room and went to the toilet spot to do a pee and a poo. She walked around a bit and then went back into her crate. A while later, she came out again, so I closed the crate door. It had taken 13 hours for her to come out of the crate after coming to my house.
・ I left Ume chan alone at home while I took all our dogs for a walk, but she didn’t howl or bark. When we came back, she was sound asleep on a rug.
・ At night, she let my husband stroke her. He did this by giving her some cheese and trying to touch her bit by bit. I think she secretly enjoyed it because when he stopped stroking her, she came over to him and seemed to want more.
・ She managed to finish whole her meal (only dry food) with our dogs.

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<Day 3>

・ She slept with everybody (including me). When she woke up, she came over to me, wriggling her body and showing me her tummy to be stroked...
・ She finished whole her meal (only dry food) with our dogs.
・ I hadn’t planned to take her for a walk, but she came with us to the door and even let me put her collar on without any trouble. If she had hesitated, I would have let her stay home, but she was the first dog to go out when I opened the door. During the walk, she pulled on the leash when she was scared, or when we were in built-up areas or by a big roadside, but she didn’t pull when we were in places with plenty of greenery such as rice fields, and she even looked like she was enjoying herself... Her tail was either up or at least not completely down. She didn’t tuck her tail between her legs and never panicked.

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<Day four>

・ Ume chan lay down beside me. When I stroked her, she looked happy and leaned against me even more. I touched her body slowly and gradually while she was lying there all relaxed. I rubbed her, thinking that one day maybe she’d let me cut her nails… I tried holding her while we were lying there and she didn’t seem to mind. She just kept sleeping, so I tried touching her all over, pretending I was sleeping too…
・ She sniffed at the window and tried to see what was going out outside, whimpering a little as if she wanted to go out.
・ Just like the previous day, I took her for a walk because she wanted to go. Again, she rushed out in front of the other dogs and pulled excitedly, but didn’t seem scared. In fact, she looked even more proud and regal than the previous day.
・ She didn’t bark even when the doorbell rang or when people came in and out, but when our dogs started barking, she joined in.

… So this is how it went. I was a bit surprised that we saw such great changes in her in just 4 days. It may be that she’s gotten more used to people and other dogs because she had already been to the homes of several staff members. Hmmm, I really hope we can find a good home for her. I think she can adjust easily as long as whoever is taking care of her lets her take her time and decide when she is ready. Once she thinks, “This person is safe” or “This place is not scary”, then she will become attached to you.

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When I called her name, she came over to me to be stroked, wriggling her little body, even when she was busy playing with the other dogs.

She has never had any accidents when going to the toilet and always does it on a pet sheet. She’s never had any car sickness either.

Sakura, Momo, and Kiku have also, step by step, been learning social skills with foster staff members.

Anyhow, I’d like to find them new homes as soon as possible!

★They are coming to ARK with their foster staff members and spending their days at ARK so they can find someone who wants to adopt them. If you are interested in them, please come to meet them at ARK! We’ll be sure to make sure whichever of these lovely dogs you’re interested in is here if you call us before you come.


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