Enter: Stewart and Tyson (no…not Tyson The Cat!)
I was worried at first that I wouldn’t be able to make a distinction between these two dogs. They are almost exactly the same color! Stewart is just a little bit smaller and much thinner; Tyson is taller, and at a good healthy weight.
I did a little research on the Chihuahua breed and this is what I think: Tyson is a “Deer-Headed Chihuahua” for his deer-shaped head, and taller than average legs; Stewart is an “Apple-Headed Chihuahua” for his apple-shaped head and a body that [should be] short and stout. These two both have their own BIG personalities.Tyson was the most fearful (given to fits of biting when handled), but was the first to start playing and interacting with people. He is quite a bit younger than Stewart; obvious by the stores of energy and small attention span. Tyson was one of the dogs rescued through The Nourishing Hand from a hoarder along with 8 others. These dogs were much healthier than The Camper Dogs, and only required the routine vetting (spay/neuter & vaccines) provided by the rescue.
It took me about 15 min. to calm Tyson down after bringing him out of his crate. He sat in my lap and shook for several minutes before giving in to my chest and ear massages (which was all for naught because the next thing I did was give him a spit bath). From this point he slowly and nervously approached me when called, and did a funny little dance around me to keep from being picked up.
Suddenly, after being nervous for several minutes, Tyson erupted into boughs of zoomies around the living room and down the hallway. This brought Nana and me to tears-we were laughing so hard out of shock and amusement.
Tyson still has some fear issues to overcome (he still has not warmed up to my brother, and continues to growl and bark when he is near), but we are working hard to build trust and confidence for this little guy. Stewart was the first to venture out from the crate. My assumption is that he felt a little claustrophobic in such a tiny enclosure. He poked his head out, and attempted a great escape; trying his hardest to wiggle himself out of my arms and away from Nana’s tiny bath tub. After being bathed and dried, he sat shivering in Nana’s arms and watched as his new foster brother was doused and suds-ed until he was squeaky clean. Nana is now one of Stewart’s favorite people, and will curl up on her lap for a nice snooze when we visit her house. Nana pretends that she reeeeaaally dislikes dogs but Stewart knows better.
Right now we are working with Stewart on curbing food-aggression with other dogs (he is fine when I reach into his food bowl), and helping him just relax. I can tell that being in a home with only two other dogs has already had a positive effect with this guy. He soaks up the love at any opportunity, and has even started playing with Big-D and both of the Tyson’s. It is important to remember that in cases of hoarded animals many times (though they have been neglected due to lack of funds or the ability to provide top notch care) the reason they have been kept so long by their owners is-LOVE.
Think about it.
For many people, the love of their pet dog is the only unconditional love they know. I choose not to judge the previous owners of these dogs; knowing that Tyson and Stewart may have been a rare source of comfort for their former families and my heart goes out to them. I cannot imagine a world without my Delilah, and I ache for families who make the extremely difficult choice out of love to trust us with finding homes for these dogs where they will be happy and healthy forever.
Please keep these families in your thoughts and prayers, and help us provide veterinary care for their beloved dogs by donating towards the Camper Dog Fund.