ISCP member Rowena’s journey with Cauta, her Romanian ex-street dog … and now Luna, too.

Writing this on a rain drenched Easter weekend. Just returned from an outing in deep mud and sheets of water cascading from the sky. Cauta’s underbelly is now painted brown and tufts of his fur are clumped together. Luna is shivering from the cold and needed to be carried over the deep puddles, both of us nearly taking a tumble as my laughter bursts out. I mentally note to go buy her a coat…

So, who is Luna?

Luna has been with us only five days now, and is already making a deep impression on us all. A while back I wrote about a lurking idea that wouldn’t dissipate, of having a companion to join Cauta dog. After much thought, preparation, consultation and general worrying we decided to take the plunge. Cauta seemed in a good place and ready for a friend. We felt there was a window of time before another momentous event is due to happen and it was now, or not for a good few years. (More about that later.)

Cue endless searching on the interwebs for a very specific dog, someone who might welcome Cauta’s sometimes clumsy attempts to play. I spy Luna, (was Laura) a young, playful Jura hound cross, rescued from Cyprus by Jan Appleby at Saving Souls. She has a very different personality to C, and a very different background, but holds the same appetite for play. After careful introductions and preparations, she is now with us on a trial, to see how they like each other.

It has been fascinating to watch how the two read each other, their communications, Luna’s bravery in joining a new family, and Cauta’s adjustments to sharing.

From a trembling, wide eyed, tense jawed little bundle, Luna is starting to emerge into a feisty, yet touchingly gentle little dog…who will not walk through deep puddles. Her tail now wags more than it is tucked underneath her, and her excited Chewbacca vocals make us laugh every time.

She remains underweight and ravenous, but I doubt she will be for long. Mysteriously two slices of pizza, a slice of toast and two muffins have disappeared from the kitchen. Hmmm. Seems this girl is a counter-surfing pro. Might have to work on that one…

Cauta is cottoning on to the idea that having her around means more treats, more kongs, more playtime, more walks and more of me. I watch like a hawk for signs of conflict, and thankfully they seem to be working each other out gradually and giving each other space. Still wary of each other, as can be expected, it’s looking hopeful that a friendship may blossom.

Having taken two weeks off work to focus on helping them settle I find it is most definitely a full-time job. Not least of all as Luna’s bladder control is not quite as advanced as Cauta’s…I shadow her through the house, taking her out at the first signs, try to encourage garden use, and have the washing machine on permanently. Every time she does do her business outside I feel just a little self-conscious at exclaiming enthusiastically ‘good wee wees’, ready to repeat this when we return to the garden. But the frequency of Wee-mageddon in the house has reduced, so I am hoping we are on the right track…

She is enduring in her quirks, her habit of standing to attention, lemming like, if a squirrel dares to appear, or her head needs to disappear in the nearest dustbin, her quasi bark that sounds like a sneeze, her trust of us and eagerness to be near. Her recall is astounding and Cauta even sharpens up his recall skills so as not to miss out on treats.

Cauta is generally being surprisingly mature, on walks modelling for all the world a big brother, who is above all this darting around silliness. But back in the house a glint comes into his eye and he is the first to initiate a lay down game of tooth fencing.

It is early days and really, anything could happen from here on in, but taking one paw step at a time, we will see where it takes us.

 

With gratitude to Gill Turner and family, who fostered Luna with so much love.

 

Cauta and Luna’s first meeting

 

Chase game in full flow

 

Chicken, you say?

 

Tooth fencing in the morning

 

Rest break at night