Dash makes a dash to freedom


It had to happen one day, Dash got out ! I had been cleaning up in the house and walked out onto the deck with the recyclables on my arm, I grabbed him but couldn't hold onto him and he was gone. Now here was a choice I had to make. I could freak out, get worried, start chasing him OR hope for his safe return before dinner and consider this an adventure for him. I decided that worrying would only manifest what I chose to be afraid of, which is of course totally counter-productive. In the meantime he had gotten neutered and had his rabies shot, which is what we had decided on. The only thing he had not, was a collar on with a tag . . .  So i went about my day for the next two hours, Tess was looking out for him by the window, and after about two hours he was back home ! Yeah ! I was very grateful.

The next day, Dash wanted to go out again and started screaming when I wouldn't let him. O boy. When I came back with the dogs from our walk, Dash slipped between 12 dog legs and got out. Where there is a will, there is a way ! So now this is pretty an everyday thing. I don't want the dogs to chase him around the house, so I let Dash out when I come home from the walk. The dogs go in and he goes out. I only let him out by day light and I want him to be back inside by the time I need to leave. I must say, the arrangement works wonderfully. Dash comes home within a two to three hour period and when I tell him he needs to be inside by a certain time, he actually comes when called.

Today was his first day in the snow. He jumped outside on the deck and froze, lifted one footie at a time and shook it, smelled the snow, wanted to almost come inside again, then decided he could live with it and trotted off. He's quite the character.

How was Christmas with your animals ? We had such a wonderful time. Dash even got a piece of fresh salmon from my husband Steve ! and he got a four foot long stuffed toy snake, since he loves to drag 'dead' animals around the house, the bigger the better. Plus a cute cat bed and treats . . . . 

Dash continues to amaze me


I didn't have time to tell the rest of the story before leaving on my trip to Indonesia, but little Dash was safely in the rest of the house with all three dogs before I left on my trip. My husband never thought that would be possible, but there it was ! I put some chairs in strategic places so the dogs couldn't run through the whole house after Dash, but soon Dash was playing with his mouse or with a dog toy and having a blast. Sometimes he just hang out with them. Absolutely no fear and absolutely always in control. He just knows exactly what to do, how fast to run and what direction to go.

Fast forward to a month later. I am back from my trip, more about that some other time, and Dash wants to do what the dogs do : they get a treat, he needs a treat, they go for a walk, he wants to go out now too. He dashes through the house at high speeds, will stalk the dogs and make his flashy attacks and retreat at the last moment just inches from the dogs faces. Mona, who wanted to eat him, is now playing with him and they chase each other around the house. We don't need a tv here to be entertained ! We have a big decision to make, because Dash now wants to go outside and he is still little and there are many predators around here in the woods, so we are not really keen on the idea for him to go outside. I have let him on the deck to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, but he surprised me by jumping off the fairly high deck ! I might have to keep him on a harness and leash for now in order to go outside supervised. In the meantime we ordered a kitty toilet training kit and it has arrived and we put the litterbox in the bathroom right next to the toilet. Eventually we hope he will use the toilet for his needs instead of a litterbox. The kit promises us that is obtainable in just a few weeks. Let's see.

Dash gets to explore the rest of the house


The next step I took, was introducing Dash to the rest of the house, while the dogs were outside and not able to come back in. Dash took this very seriously and discovered all the nooks and crannies and came back with various cobwebs on his face and whiskers from behind the washer and dryer and the basement area.

I really wanted him to know the house well, so he would know where to go to be safe. Tess was the first dog that started wagging her tail for Dash and seemed to be having conversations with him through the door. She was also the one who had actually asked for a cat a few years back. But she also is a serious huntress. She was a wild wolf in her previous lifetime ! A bit later she wagged her tail for Dash though and sniffed him and licked him IN his room, so she was the first dog to allow inside the house while Dash was roaming the house. I kept a good eye on her and kept her from following him everywhere, but soon I fully trusted Tess with little Dash.

Griffin was next. He was also getting the idea to be calm around Dash in his room. Then I took him and the kitty in another room with more room. That was a lot harder for him. I had to tell him a down-stay a few times. I got a little discouraged, but Dash reminded me that everything would work out just fine ! He seemed to know exactly what he was doing !!

to be continued. . . .

Dash sets to work


Dash was totally unfazed by all three dogs outside his door. At first Dash was so very little, he weighed in at 2 pounds, that I kept him far away from the dogs.One bite would have been fatal. The dogs were very curious, to say the least. They were also a little frustrated that I was spending so much time in that room with the kitten and they were getting less time with me. I started out with taking one dog in the room for just a minute or two, so he/she could check out the kitten with nose and eyes. Eventually I opened the curtain in front of the door, so they could see him through the french door and that's when Dash became doggie tv !

The first couple of days, Dash was mostly eating and sleeping. Slowly his sticking out little bones got covered up and he grew a round belly. The stronger Dash became, the more playful he became, and soon he was literally dashing through the room at great bursts of energy, playing with toys or imaginary things. He certainly knows how to entertain himself ! The dogs became obsessed with watching him ! Dash ignored them completely. He would play right in front of their noses as if they weren't there !

I felt that Dash needed more stuff to do and  got him a little harness and took him outside to explore the yard on a leash. The dogs had to be locked in the house or on the deck for that. Remarkably, the dogs showed respect when I asked for space when I walked through the house with Dash-in-harness on my arm to the door. That gave me hope that they would learn to accept him. Out of the three dogs, only Mona had this naughty look on her face, she wanted to eat Dash !

to be continued . . . 

Adding a kitten on to our family of three dogs


On the Fourth of July we found a little 8-week-old kitten in the middle of the woods all by himself, a little bag of bones.

We drove straight to the store and picked up some cans of cat food, then drove to the vet to see if he would take it. The vet was closed for the day, can't blame him, so we drove home and  I called some people from around who have cats and couldn't find anyone who wanted to take it.

We named the kitten Dash, for making itself comfortable on the dashboard in the truck while driving, after eating some much needed food. So I sent my husband to the store for some cat litter and installed Dash in the spare room for now. With three big dogs, such a little kitten wouldn't have much of a chance of surviving in our house.

Dash turned out to be a little boy, and  very beautiful black and white one with all white whiskers and very symmetrical markings and just a very sweet personality. I posted him on Facebook to see if anyone was interested in taking him. I talked to a friend who was volunteering for a no-kill cat shelter, but she couldn't take him to a foster home (where kittens go) until the end of the week.

It is really amazing how Dash managed to land in our house and worm his way into my heart in so little time and then let me know that he was settling in nicely and not going anywhere !!

He was doing everything right, right away, using the litter box, purring up a storm, being social and cuddly and not at all afraid of the dogs ! He turned out to be the perfect cat ! Now how to convince the dogs that having a cat would be a great addition to our household . . . . . to be continued.