Monday, October 19, 2015

a sad story...with a very happy ending!!!

thank goodness this very sad story has a happy ending!

our 3 cats were not integrating with katiyja at all...after 6 weeks and us doing everything we could to make a smooth transition. we took her outside and played with her 5-6 times a day and made sure one of us was playing with her while the other person ran into the house to do normal things like put away the dishes, quickly make food, sweep or other normal chores. then we'd swap off and the other one would run in the house until she tired herself out playing (about 2 hours) and then she would come in to the blocked off living room, lay on her pillow and chew her cow foot or lick her peanut butter toy. one of us would stay with her in the living room while the other would go and continue doing daily chores and then we'd swap off again. at night she slept in the blocked off bathroom and for the last few weeks was actually sleeping for 5-6 hours at a time.

hopwever, this little man didn't come into the house for the entire 6 weeks.

he stayed outside all day and night and with the colder weather coming, we started to get worried. we were feeding him outside and giving him treats outside but he is an indoor cat who normally sleeps in bed with us and watches a movie with us every evening. it wasn't good.

this little man would come into the kitchen in the morning and evening to be fed...but after 2 weeks he stopped coming in the house, too.

he loves being outdoors during the day but normally would come into the house several times a day for "kitchen dances" (i pick him up, sing silly made up songs and dance him all around the kitchen), for "taxi" (i pick him up and carry him around the house and show him different things) and for his regular afternoon nap. but, as i said, he stopped coming in the house.

my littlest guy noodie-nu - he made a few attempts to try and meet katiyja but she lunged at him and jumped at him and scared him. she didn't do it in a mean way - she was just so excited to try and meet the cats. but it simply just wasn't working. the 3 cats normally watch a movie with us at night - all 3 of them on the couch or spread out in the living room but that stopped the day we katiyja. we felt terrible and just kept hoping that "maybe tomorrow".....but tomorrow never came.

at this point we felt horrible for the cats, horrible for katiyja and we weren't sure what to do. she was very good staying at jamie's heel when he took her for walks around the house on her leash. and we hated having to tether her all of the time so we thought maybe we could try taking her off the tether and giving her more area and freedom to run around. we tried that 4 or 5 times and each time she went straight after a cat. it was awful. and then 2 times she went after our little noodie-nu - the first time she almost got him in her mouth, the second time she actually bit his back leg. she didn't break skin but he did walk a little funny for a day. he was fine the second day.

however, we felt that by bringing her into our household we had totally messed up the cat's routine. we did not want to keep her on a tether for 8-10 hours a day as she grew older and then lock her in the bathroom every night. our big cat mobey-moe could not be sleeping outside as we are getting colder and colder nights and winter is coming. something had to give.

we agonized for days, we spoke to the people at the animal hospital, the shelter, the cats' vet and a really helpful lady from the pet store. they all gave us the same advice - that the cat's were not going to integrate, katiyja needed a "pack" as she is a pack dog, and that we needed to find a new home for her. again we agonized - we had tried our best and are not good with failure.

we contacted our neighbour's kids who have the mother and father and told them of the situation. they were very understanding and agreed to take her back, as well as contact the owner of katiyja's 2 brothers and see if he would want katiyja. and he said that he did! OMG - i had already been crying for days thinking about having to send her away - but now i was crying with joy - katiyja would be with her brothers!!!

we gathered up and washed all of her toys, gathered up all of her dog food and took her next door in her little carrier. j took her into the house and we stayed outside with h as their 3 dogs were running around the yard. then j opened the door and let katiyja out into the yard. OMG - i am crying as i type this. when i saw the look of joy on katiyja's face as she went running to her father and jumped at him and nipped at him and he did the same back to her - OMG - i burst out bawling right in front of everyone. i couldn't believe how happy she looked. the other dogs came over and they all played with her. i cried all night because she really is a pack dog - she needed a pack and we did not provide her with that. we felt terrible for that but we are both soooooo relieved that she will be with other dogs from now on.

as j was babysitting katiyja and her 2 brothers over the weekend, katiyja was able to bond with them and soon they will all 3 be going to their owner's house. she will be able to learn and grow with her 2 brothers - i don't think the story could have a better ending!

we had our VFD meeting that evening and when we returned, we were just worn out but in a good way. so we cleaned up the bathroom and were able to use the bathroom at night for the first time in 6 weeks - bahahahahah! the next day jamie took down the contraption in the living room and then we went and got all 3 cats and brought them through the house so that they could see that things had gone back to normal. 2 of them stayed outside for another 2 days and nights and then finally started coming into the house again - thank goodness! as of saturday night, after we came home from our friend's birthday dance - all 3 of them were on the couch sleeping together when we came in the door!

yesterday they came in and out of the house in normal fashion, moby-moe is sleeping with us at night, Frankie Blue-Eyes is back to sleeping on his little mat in front of the stove and noodie-nu has made himself a new bed in our bedroom closet. they all came and watched a movie with us last evening and things seem to be back to normal - big sigh of relief!!!

i have been emailing j and she has said that katiyja is doing well and will be going with her brothers to their owner's house in a day or two. we will of course be keeping in touch with regular emails and picture updates.

it still hurts because she was the most affectionate dog i have ever met and we really and truly loved her. but in trying to do the best thing for our cats, we ended up doing the best thing for our cats AND katiyja. and that is the best ending to this kind of story - ever!


  1. It is really tough to try and try, and yet not succeed. We have had to sell dogs after we raised them for a year because they killed chickens and wouldn't stop. It is a really hard thing to do. I can hear the relief of returning to normal in your voice, though. Don't feel guilty, you tried something new that didn't work, and you found a solution that worked well for everyone, people and animals. There is a great deal to be said for contentment in a household.


    1. Fern - thank you so much for your heartfelt comment - it really means the world! and thank you for sharing your non-successes - it is so hard when you try so hard and have to admit defeat! there is relief in my voice, and we felt really guilty - until we found out that she will be going with her brothers.

      our cats are back to normal and we are just grateful that she has gone to a good home with her brothers. thank you so much for your comment! xox

  2. Replies
    1. ack...yer a true curmudgeon, you are - bahahahahah!

  3. Well you tried. And you found the best alternative for the pup. You did well.

    1. thanks Matt! thanks so much buddy! haven't seen you around these parts in a while and it is nice to see you! and thank you for that. we feel like big horrible failures but we are so glad that she will be going with her brothers! xox

  4. Sounds like you made the right choice. I have been lately thinking back on my days with my favorite dog who was a Lab. She was well trained and we went everywhere together as I was working as a surveyor then. We took off once a week to go hunting and life was great until she got too old then we just hung out until she died one day. I vowed I would never have another Labrador because it would remind me of her.

    Anyway I was thinking recently maybe enough time had went by. Then guess what my neighbor who never takes care of their dogs so they end up here half the time, got a Labrador. He is a great dog, could be easily trained with a huge amount of natural talent and instinct. I started messing with him and realized I was not 20 any longer, nor was I even 30. I am too old to survive another young Labrador growth period.

    My point is that some breeds are just too much and have different needs than we can supply them with. Doesn't mean we don't love em.

    1. thank you PP - you totally get it! i originally wanted to get jam a rescue lab! i am glad that you have such fond memories of your dog...i had a ton of labs (golden and black) growing up and they are beautiful dogs!

      we really loved her - we really, really loved her. but it just wasn't working out. i am so glad that she is going with her brothers. the owner of her 2 brothers is in his 20's and loves her brothers..i am sure that he will love her too. once they are in a pack, you just let them out together and they entertain themselves. not a whole heck of a lot of work to do.

      thank you for sharing your stories...we appreciate it! love you buddy! xoxo

  5. Replies
    1. jam has been saying this since we first got your comment Tewshooz - bahhahahaha! thanks a bunch!

  6. kymber!
    we got our dog from the shelter. he is excellent and either gets along with or avoids the cats.
    he gives short chase to the couple who will run but he doesn't go after them.
    he also jumps and huffs at the little birds in the bushes at the front door. he likes to see them scatter, but otherwise has no interest in them.
    but he will go after small game! that gave us an insight into how he had been trained!

    cats- no! small game-- yes!

    you need a less active breed and probably one who has been 'pre-owned', that is, a 'used dog'!

    God will find you the dog or dogs whom you need and who need you.
    at my age i could not keep up with a puppy.!!

    God bless you both and your cats!
    deb h.

    1. deb - thank you soooo much for that! we know that the Manor needs a dog and i think you are right - we need a "used one". the Lord will provide, as you say, and we may have rushed getting this puppy...we didn't think we were getting her until much later. but we did our best by her and i am just so relieved that she is going to be with her brothers. thank you so much for sharing your story and God bless you and all of the members (both animal and human) of your family! thank you deb! xox

  7. Sweet Angel Sister Kymber,
    When introducing an animal to a household of animals it takes time, and patience. You both gave it plenty of time, and had plenty of patience and it didn't work. Don't beat up yourself, Katiyja is in good hands, and at a safe home. You did the right thing!!!! I know it's heart breaking and in the end it's going to be alright. Take a breath, and realize Katiyja loves you both for all you've given her. Now it's time for her to be with her 2 brothers to run, play bite, bark, and do all those dog things.
    Your cat's will be happy to have their schedules back in order and that natural calm in the house.

    Sending love and hugs to you both.
    Your friend, Sandy

    1. oh sweet angel sister - our hearts are broken because she was such a good dog and we loved her soooo much! we tried everything and were constantly calling the vet, the animal shelter and the pet store - we took everyone's advice and tried all kinds of things but the cats did not take to her and she so needed a pack! thank you for your understanding and yes - now she will grow up with her brothers and learn everything she needs to learn with, and from them. thank you honey. we are sending much love back to you and yours always! xoxox

  8. I've found that it is easier integrating older dogs to cats than young puppies. Growing up we had house cats and one day picked up a stray dog. In the end, we ended up zoning the house so to speak. We had a tile floor in the kitchen and a hallway and the rest of the rooms had carpets. Whenever my dog Ted was inside, he was forced to only stay on the tile. It was his area. Once he learned to stay on the tile, a few days of training, all was good for the cats who learned where they could safely go. Once Ted was a couple years old, he never bothered the cats even if they were in his area.

    It's sad to have to give up a dog that you have obviously fallen in love with. The silver lining is that she is not far away and is with a good home.

    1. Ed - we have heard that from several people now...older dogs integrate better with an already-established cat household. we tried giving her her own little area but then the cats stopped coming upstairs, one stopped coming in the house altogether, and then another stopped coming in the house. and she so badly wanted to make them her pack. it was so sad to watch her and we knew that she was lonely even though we spent hours and hours with her! when i saw her at our neighbour's house interracting with the other dogs - my heart broke! she was so joyfull playing with the dogs!

      she is going with her brothers to a very good home. and yes, Ed, we loved her with all of our hearts. thank you for understanding, my friend. xoxo

  9. Aww, sorry it turned out like that but you did the right thing. And it's not a dog vs cat thing, if you were bringing a cat into a house where you had dogs for years, and there was no getting along, you would have found a new home for the cat. You and Jam do the with thing because you have good hearts and you are compassionate...

    Big hugs from Texas!

    1. thanks 1st Man. we really and truly tried but it just wasn't working. and yes, if we had dogs and brought in a cat and it didn't work - we would have to find the cat a new home. thanks for your understanding and hugs! sending hugs back to the both of you! xoxo

  10. That happens sometimes. A good home with other dogs would be the best thing for her so don't feel too badly about it.

    1. Harry - she was so joyful playing with the other dogs and yes, she needed a home with other dogs. but Harry - you would not believe what a good, smart girl she was. she tried so hard to please us - and the cats - and she learned things very quickly. it broke our hearts to have to give her away - we really did love her. thanks Harry! sending much love to you and yours! xoxo