Every time I bring a new pet into the house, I have a week or two of complete and utter panic, thinking I’ve made a huge mistake, this is a terrible match, and we’ll never make it work. Then we figure it out and all is well.
Honestly though, I haven’t had that moment yet with Kekoa. Granted it’s only been 2 days, but she has pretty seamlessly integrated into the house so far. Brody is jealous- make that insanely jealous- but they are getting along just fine, no arguments over resources or anything like that.
She does not inhale her food in 10 seconds flat. She does not eat Barbies. She asks to go outside. She is a perfect houseguest.
Her tail never, ever stops wagging. It takes out glasses on the coffee table. It knocks stuff off the shelves at work. She looks at you so imploringly with her bright brown eyes, almost desperate in her appeal for approval and love. “Please don’t leave me,” she begs. “I promise to be good and happy- see?”
I know that she has some separation anxiety issues, based on the report from her prior owner as well as her general barnacle-ness with me. All day, when I’d go into an exam room, I’d have to put her into a sit-stay to keep her from going in with me. Then about three minutes into the exam we’d hear some loud and indignant huffing and puffing from outside the exam room door. The clients were all very understanding of the heavy breathing.
She had to go into a run for a little while while we were working with some nervous cats, and then I heard what got her into trouble at her last home. This quiet little girl has a VOICE when she is alone and anxious. No one at work cares- we’re all used to tuning it out. If she barks at home when she’s alone, it’s OK too- the neighbors are set far enough back that they won’t hear it. Manageable.
Ideally, I’d like to reduce that anxiety of hers instead of just ignoring it. I have discussed separation anxiety with owners, though I haven’t had the “pleasure” of working through it myself. That is OK. It will be good practice for me to go through it, just like the unexpectedly difficult process of housebreaking Brody gave me more sympathy for clients than I had prior. We’ll figure it out.
So onto more important considerations:
Kekoa is very difficult to pronounce. The kids, when they aren’t calling her Licky, call her Kokea, or Ricola. I don’t want to change her name- she’s had enough instability in her life as it is- but I have to figure out which of two nicknames are going to work best. She responds to both:
Kiki, or Koa? Voting is open. 🙂