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Wild Blood

野生の血1

This is Kiku-chan, who participated in the Green Dog Adoption Fair the other day.

Kiku-chan is one of four sisters born to a stray dog. I first wrote about them in the article about the foster system. No foster family was found for them, and they have continued their training at ARK. They have more or less gotten used to people, but I felt there was still a line they couldn't cross. I feel like at the bottom of their hearts, having been born to a stray dog, wariness toward humans remains like a permanent stain. There might be a danger that if they were rehomed, and by some chance their wild blood was reawakened and they panicked, they might bite someone.

For example, sensitive dogs tend to get attached to those who look after them most of the time and those who spend a lot of time with them, but it is hard for them to bond with families that are absent a lot due to work. (This is certainly not always the case, though!) Could you really adore a pet that bonds with other family members but doesn't bond with you? Could you wait patiently with perseverance until the pet opened its heart to you? Couldn't this become a source of friction in the family? It is extremely difficult to find people who will understand and accept this challenge.

They say it takes six months to a year to really bond.
Although these four dogs have wariness toward people in their hearts, this can gradually be replaced by trust over time as they live with the families who adopt them.

野生の血2
We began to feel there was a limit to what we could do at ARK, so, following Tsuda-sensei's advice, we decided to take one dog at a time home for rehabilitation. Truthfully, I don't know what kind of change we will see, and I am not sure if I can do the job well. It's possible that in the end, we will conclude that they are unsuitable for rehoming. Even if they do improve, it might be hard to find an understanding adopter.

For these puppies, time flies by and they grow at 18 times the speed of a human. One human day is about 18 days for them. Decisions must be made cautiously, but there’s no time to stop and think.

Kiku-chan, who is staying at my house, does feel some uncertainty, but she can also be friendly toward anyone. However, sometimes she goes stiff with tension and her expression changes. When this happens, she has fallen into a state of panic, and questions like, “Is it okay to rehome her?” “Could she hurt an adopter or a bystander?” “Is it really happiness for Kiku-chan to live with humans?” cross my mind.

There are some things I try to be careful of when interacting with Kiku-chan. I don't show her feelings of pity or sympathy or feeling bad for her because those feelings are transmitted to dogs and can make them unstable. I want her to become a big-hearted and calm dog, so I try to display the same attitude when interacting with her. (Fortunately, all four sisters are basically cheerful and lively.)

野生の血3
It’s important when people and dogs live together that both are happy. Can a dog who may not be able to build a trusting relationship with humans be rehomed and live happily with people? Can the adopter feel happiness? If neither can be happy, I can’t help but conclude it would be irresponsible of ARK to rehome them.

What paths lay before these four sisters at the time of their birth? One was to live on the brink of death as stray dogs in fear of starvation, cold, and the archenemy, humans. Another, to die of suffocation in the gas room at the pound. Another, to become someone's pet.

These four small lives have found their way to ARK. If we can, we want to help them become dogs who will be happy living with humans. Soon they will be five months old. Their milk teeth are falling out and being replaced by their permanent teeth.

But honestly, I don't know.
I don't know what happiness really is for these young dogs.


Information on the four sisters:
• They don't get carsick. They are well behaved in cars.
• They get along well with other dogs, so are well suited to households with many dogs.
• They love to play with people.
• They can use pet sheets as a toilet. (But sometimes they have accidents!)


Qualifications of an ideal home for the four sisters at this point:
• They are kept indoors.
• They need a quiet, relaxed family.
• No small children.
• People who can adjust to the dog's pace.
• People who can wait patiently for the dog to open her heart.
• People who won't force human circumstances and human pace on the dog.

Of course, it is not absolutely necessary for all these conditions to be met fully. I think we should be flexible with families' individual circumstances and needs, so anyone who is interested please contact ARK.

(I plan to feature more detailed information on Sakura, Ume, and Momo as soon as their caretakers provide it!)


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