Regular readers will know that at the beginning of December I adopted Podenca Andaluz Rosely, who had spent most of her 8 years breeding babies for a hunter. She had no experience of life in the big wide world and came full of fear. Not the first time I've had to deal with a fearful Spanish hunting dog - as my galga Carmela, rescued from a perrera at 4 years old, was traumatized on arrival at our home. It took 2 1/2 years before she became what I would term 'a normal dog' if there is such a one!! So once again we're having to deal with a dog fearful of life as a whole, and men especially. Once again my husband has to cope with a dog backing off from him, hiding under the table and so on.
A strong part of a podenco's character is loyalty and Rosely has it in abundance towards me! Which initially caused problems insofar as I do voluntary work 2 mornings/week and she had to get used to me disappearing for a few hours. The kitchen door into the rest of the bungalow had to be kept shut and she was only allowed into the garden to the toilet on lead. Night times were a problem too, and for the first time in my 70+ years of living with at least one dog, she is allowed to sleep on a bed beside my own - NEVER on my bed!
Most afternoons I've walked her from our Close to the main road where there is a wide grass verge, so she can observe the traffic and any other humans or dogs which appear. 4 months on she is still very fearful of strangers but walks happily to heel. As we live on the edge of a small town, we are short of parks or woods to walk, so once a week we visit a dog park in the small dog section, and after 6 weeks I am pleased that her tail is up and wagging, she doesn't mind a few other small dogs around her and she will even tentatively approach a couple of the men. She's never let off lead though, but she has made particular friends with Springer Spaniel Milo - strangely the same name as the other podenco rescued with her! In her own time she will also approach my husband if he is sitting down so we are slowly making progress. However it is me she is attached to and needs to be in the same room as me or with me in the garden.
Soon after her arrival her housemate arrived, blind Podenco X Bo. His previous life was 8 years on a chain, fed infrequently. So although she loves to share his bed, he's not a dog to give her confidence, he needs to acquire it himself.
Rosely still suffers some separation anxiety when we both disappear. Kitchen door shut, laundry basket and more on the kitchen table as I know in the past she has jumped on that! Luckily it is well covered to protect the lovely wooden surface! The welcome she gives me on my return is the best of any dog I have ever had - I really must try and capture it on video! Simple tail wagging is not in it - smiles and frantic tail wagging more like!
Here's a link to an article on separation anxiety in dogs which readers with a similar problem in a dog might find interesting.