04 November, 2007

And, they also meet Zero and Gator

And a few minutes later, Dash and Dot came face to face with all three of our doggies - Sally, Zero and Gator.

Again, all went well. But a few minutes after this video, Roxie came up to the fence to check on what was going on, and a fence-line scuffle ensued. Dash got a little wound on his ear, and Dash and Dot decided it was best to pair up and be more worried about Sally and Zero's intentions. Gator, with his superpowers of friendliness and cheerfulness, does not seem to elicit so much worry - but Dash and Dot are keeping their distance from him too. So, we'll have to see how things go from here. So far, no more skirmishes, but a whole lot of wariness and warning barking from D & D towards S, Z and G.

I'm very proud of our Zero, Sally and Gator - in spite of a lot of chaos, and getting barked at and growled out, they've done an exemplary job of being hospitable, friendly, and easy-going.

Dash and Dot Meet Sally

Today was a big day at the Casa de Ivens-Fountain. We decided it was time to introduce Dash and Dot to our pack - Sally, Zero and Gator. If they can all integrate themselves into a single social group, preferably without trying to kill each other, this will be good for everyone, we think.

Here was the scene during the first, and scariest, introduction. Sally meets Dash and Dot, and all seems well!

02 November, 2007

The rest of the story

A few nights ago, I spoke with Kate - the former neighbor who told me she knew Haku. And now we know a lot more about a bunch of dogs in our area, including but not limited to Haku and our own dogs Sally & Zero.

Kate used to live nearby, and she had a dog called Toby who she used to walk around the neighborhood. She met Haku's parents because the humans who owned them didn't bother to keep them fenced in a yard or anything silly like that.

It turns out that Haku's mother was a fawn-colored mixed breed dog who lived one block over from our house. She, and Haku's father, were part of a 'loose confederation' of quasi-stray dogs on that block. I shall call her 'Sugar', because we don't know what her actual name was.

Haku's father was called 'Lobo'. He was one of a pair of wolf-hybrid dogs owned by a family who lived across the street from Sugar. Lobo and his brother, we'll call him 'Ban', were in a fenced yard, but this was a technicality because they were easily able to jump the fence to come out and travel with the pack. And they apprently did so frequently.

Lobo and Sugar fell in love, and over time had at least 3 litters of pups. Haku was one of the second litter, which also included at least 2 girl pups. We'll call Haku's sisters 'Hope' and 'Faith', because I want to believe that they've survived and found good homes. As Haku and his littermates grew to adulthood, Ban began to behave weirdly with the other dogs, and towards Kate and Toby when they'd come walking by. Whereas he had previously been friendly and gregarious, now he was behaving aggressively. An aggressive, off-leash wolf-hybrid dog is not a good thing for anyone, and so Kate called Animal Control on him.

As a result of that call, Animal Control offers started patrolling the neighborhood. The pod of neighbors responsible for 'owning' this loose confederation of dogs apparently decided that the thing to do was to shut their gates and deny that the dogs were theirs, thus avoiding any culpability should the AC officers approach them.

The officers ended up not catching Lobo or Ban, but they did catch Hope and Faith. They did so using have-a-heart live traps (the same kind that Rose uses for her Animals' Crusaders work), and Haku saw it happen. He clearly learned at that early age to avoid the traps - and he learned how to flip them and get the bait out of them without he himself being trapped inside.

At some point soon afterwards, Lobo was hit and killed by a car. The rest of the 'wild' pack, including our own Haku, saw this happen. So, Haku learned to be very afraid of cars. Kate doesn't know whatever became of Ban, Sugar, or the rest of Haku's siblings.

One of the dogs who lived in the area at that time was an unspayed female mixed breed dog who was apparently huge, and looked like a big white German Shepherd. This dog was Haku's first love. Let's call her 'Eve'. Kate says that Eve was gorgeous, but also pathologically shy of humans. Haku courted her and eventually they had several litters of puppies together. But Eve was elusive, so Kate could never be sure of how many litters, and how many puppies in each litter. Kate ended up adopting one of the Haku/Eve progeny - and she still has this dog. Her name is (actually) Grace.

There is good reason to believe that our own Zero and Sally are Haku/Eve babies as well. The timing is right, they physically look like it, and they have odd pathological shyness behaviors that are just like their sister Grace's. We discovered Zero and Sally lying under a tree at the back of our property when they were seven weeks old - with no humans or dogs around. But our property is contiguous with Eve's human's land. So, Eve may well have been watching us adopt them from some safe hiding place. Haku may have been there with her.

Kate has many stories about her nearly 10 year long friendship with Haku. He is clearly devoted to her and loved her dog Toby very much - but he would never agree to go in her house or cross the fence line into her yard, no matter how often she invited him over the years. She said she's even got a picture of him staring in her front door, toes on the threshold, thinking about it. But then he walked the other way.

That's probably enough of the Kate info to pass along for one post. It was good to talk with her, and good to know that the Haku fan club is continuing to grow.