I know how ironic for me to start working on my blog again by writing about the newest addition to my dysfunctional family (remember my labels recognising two cats – a previous post?) Before you all wish me congratulations that I have joined into the current trend of fashionistas (wait I actually termed myself as a fashionista?) of having beautiful babies (Sabrina, Jasmine Smith from Dress Me and Christing C), I have to say “STOP”. No I have not found some poor man to inseminate me but I have adopted a dog…a CHIHUAHUA!!!
Now I am ashamed to admit I was one of those people who were not chihuahua lovers. However, I am a sucker for a sob story. I have been volunteering for doggy adoption days at a local charity called Kirsten’s Zoo and one day one of my friends from the association who helps foster especially emergency cases came to the adoption day with a big reusable shopping bag. In it contained a very angry (read petrified) chihuahua called Edowan. My friend had previously fostered him before he had been found a supposed permanent home and had found him delightful. When she went to receive the dog from that said supposed permanent home (which lets just say did not work out for the dog), Edowan had a total character change. From a seemingly friendly adoptable cute (albeit fat); he had turned into a slightly slimmer aggressive at other dogs and was aggressive to people. He had infected feet (they were bright pink from licking due to stress and not drying out) and overgrown claws nearly the size of his actual feet (dogs tend to if walked enough keep their claws filed down naturally and only need occasional clipping unlike cats). Have you noticed that I sound relatively knowledgeable? Anyway, we all now faced a problem, this little angry Chihuahua needed a foster home or he would have to go to kennels. He could not go to a foster with children or dogs. It slowly dawned on me and (looking back it felt a bit like an out of body experience) that I was probably the only one who could come to the rescue (yes SUCKER is probably tattooed on my forehead). I feebly mumbled I had two cats but I could separate them from the dog by having the dog in my room. The dog was handed over to me and then I realised I HAD TO BUY DOG STUFF NOW!!! AND OMG, I have an angry scared chihuahua to deal with. Panic instilled as I made my way home.
A fairly accurate representation of me meeting the chihuahua. (Apart from either the dazed and panic expression on my face.)
At this point, I must say that the usual fosterers of Kirsten’s Zoo came to my rescue with words of advice and more importantly reaching out with their phone numbers so I could contact them any time.
So off home…we go… Mads and Odette were curious by the noisy and angry bundle as I hustled into my room after setting up pee pads and a little bed and food bowls filled with designer dog chow and released the little bundle. Actually for a chihuahua, Edowan (yes his name is EDOWAN – I do not understand the provenance of the name.) First of all he growled and yelped at me, bit me when I tried to hold him or pick him up but did finally calm down. Though pick him up in the wrong way and yes another bite mark to my growing collection. He also loved barking at the door to my room as he knew there were cats on the other side.
Problem one…Edowan is not toilet trained and so cue frantic clorox and then scrubbing and wipes. Edowan needed to go to the vets and get his feet sorted out as he was needing to be carried everywhere and also the pain was making him even more annoyed. However, he looked like a cute dog….let’s just say there was potential in this spunky little old man.
Edowan is 8 years old, spent nearly 7 years on a Chinese fisherman’s boat where he spent the last two years sharing with a younger, larger golden retriever and hence was a bit bullied. His owner went out one night and disappeared. It is assumed he drowned. For a whole month, Edowan and his doggy companion were unnoticed and survived on cigarette butts. Also Edowan was dragged by the ear by the larger dog (he now has a bias again retrievers or large dogs – little dog syndrome maybe?) My foster friend took him in and said he was quite friendly and was learning to go to the toilet outside. And then he was adopted. As the adopter had kept on avoiding signing the papers, legally the dog was still the adoption agency. Kirsten is very protective of her charges as so much time and money is invested into making sure perfectly good dogs do not get euthanised when they can be adopted. So an intervention happened, the sorry state of the dog was realised and then I entered the story.
Edowan when he was first adopted…
After a bit of time with Edowan, I found out he was actually just desperate for cuddles and love…which I was happy to give. He was not happy to go to the vets but we needed his feet sorted out so I could get him out walking again as I strongly believe that unless necessary, a dog should be walking…for the first few weeks, the catchphrase was “No bag Eddie, you walk!” As any parent….Edowan was used only when expressing disapproval. Edowan responded to Eddie.
A few days isolated in my bedroom meant lots of cuddles from me but I also wanted to see if all the pets could live in sweet harmony. I introduced Eddie on a leash to the cats. The cats were not bothered, Eddie was not either. And it pretty much has been like that since apart from the odd “Get out of my way!” from Eddie. However, apart from the cats, Eddie was not a sociable little dog. Imagine coming out of solitary for 6 months and then being inundated with noise, new smells, people and NOISE. Eddie out and about on walks was a nightmare. He was aggressive when he saw dogs, people especially CHILDREN and wheelchairs. And it was not just a little bark, it was a complete fit which I termed PSYCHO EDDIE. However, I found out that Eddie loves walking up stairs and so my 7th floor walk up is a blessing.
First Few Snuggles with Eddie
Bromance between Mads and Eddie slowly developed with the odd interaction with Odette but it was more a Mexican stand off
The Cutie at Home
I at that stage in fostering Eddie was working at the Hive and I managed to sneak him in. It was such a great place for him and he began to be less psycho and engaged with people. It does help that he is pretty adorable looking. There are random pictures of him on people’s Instagram…random dog in the office today but do not care. Adoption days on the other hand were not great for Eddie. There are a lot of people and dogs, all hoping to make that match between man and dog. He was nervous and completely Psycho Eddie. He was also stressed after. However when taken away from the crowds or sitting on my lap, we did manage to get some cute shots for the adoption promotion. (I was still denying I was attached to the grumpy old man).
Edowan posing a storm for pictures
After seeing these pictures (thanks to amazing volunteers), I realised Eddie was very photogenic. Hence the onslaught of my placing Eddie in fashion posts on Instagram (with earrings from Jennifer Loiselle, wearing a fashion bow tie, browsing through a Jack Wills brochure, wearing a fetching novelty hat and posing with MAC make up).
Or PRODUCT PLACEMENT…Eddie has now graced the official Instagram of JaxCoCo and Plug PR for Nexpresso.
With regards to socialising Eddie so that he is a happier and relaxed dog amongst people and hopefully dogs and children, it is an ongoing basis but he has such character that I believe we can do it. He is a lady charmer
He is also incredible with his expressions for photos. As a fashion blogger, I am a failure and cannot take decent pictures of myself. I somehow need to get some tips from my dog (yes dear readers I adopted him…)