Åndalsnes / Isfjorden
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Wolfskin's diary part 8
Today is a big day. Photo shoot is announced!
In the last few weeks I have been running a fundraiser for the MaxDog dog shelter in Romania, which I have been supporting for a long time. I was not only able to collect money, but also met a really great Norwegian. She has a heart for animals and also a great deal of knowledge about capturing them in unique moments with her camera. It therefore offers inexpensive photo shoots, the proceeds of which benefit the dog shelter. An incredibly great and generous offer! Of course, our four-legged friends should be in front of the lens first - after all, you have to be able to show off with test shots!
Said and done. So that we don't embarrass ourselves, I brushed my 3 dogs extensively. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time to cut Josy's hair, which was much too long again, but the mouse is naturally beautiful. Just like mom - because she wasn't originally supposed to be in the pictures and therefore wasn't dressed up a bit. I wore the oldest trousers, the jacket with all the splashes of paint on it and maybe my hair was still neatly in a ponytail early in the morning, but by the time of the shoot it wasn't any more... Make-up was also completely forgotten. Like I said - naturally beautiful, hehe...
But the focus was on our fur noses. And check out how Wolfskin enjoyed his pre-styling:
In the early afternoon it started. Tove Unhjem, the photographer, really is a genius behind the camera and knows exactly how to deal with animals. We took the first shots in the garden, but Wolfskin was still very skeptical. The whole theater didn't seem all that comfortable to him, so he left the stage to his Shunka most of the time. Well, and she is the born model:
After we had also taken some really great snapshots of the horses, we drove into the forest with the dogs. Beautiful shots were taken there. In the end, Wolfskin endured everything for his mum's sake, but his looks speak volumes... a job as a dressman is probably not his thing.
Today my dear Mr. Klaus, his life partner, gave me a real shock. I was at work and on a day off Micha was allowed to ......cough.... free time. So he was in the garden with our 3 fur noses. This has become a nice habit lately, letting my Wolfskin run free in the garden at least once a day.
Well, at some point I got a text message from Micha saying: Skina is gone. I was close to having a heart attack and already fighting the onset of despair; just when I wanted to get Micha on the phone, these pictures came:
My boy had just made himself comfortable amidst the conifers! Micha, if you scare me to death like that again, you'll die an agonizing death, I promise!
Today we were expecting visitors. Finally! My parents came from Germany and will stay with us for almost 3 weeks! Of course we were curious to see how Wolfskin reacted to the two. Although his behavior towards strangers has improved enormously, he is still skeptical and reserved. Since we want to fly to Budapest for 4 days next week, we hope that Wolfskin will not react overly anxious and will go out and walk with the two of them. If not... we have a problem.
I honestly have to say that my dad wasn't too happy about the fact that we're bringing another dog into the family. As if we didn't already have enough to do with our animals... Although my parents love animals and our Shunka and little Josy adore their "grandma and grandpa", they still thought that we were overdoing it with Wolfskin. But I knew even before their visit that they would love Wolfskin - just like all other four-legged friends.
They arrived by train in the evening, and we had anticipated that the welcome ceremony would take place in the garden, as experience has shown that it is quite stormy. Wolfskin also dashed down the house steps and through the back door into the garden, sniffed at Mom and Dad - and that settled everything. Grandma and Grandpa were accepted from the very first minute, just like me and Micha! That was amazing. Wolfskin had never behaved like this with anyone. No amount of effort and treats had so far borne fruit when Max, a good family friend, tried to lure Wolfskin outside. He didn't move from his corner in the bathroom. And now? A short "Well, who's here?" from my dad, cuddles from mom - and the matter was settled. From day one, Wolfskin went outside with my dad happily and well-behaved on the leash (at least 100 times a day), and in between he lay in the kitchen with mum and let himself be pampered to the letter. Mom said that he was such an incredibly nice guy, easy to care for and so beautiful (his flamed coat color appealed to her, she wants to ask her hairdresser if he can do it for her too). All in all a resounding success. I was so happy and proud of my boy.
The week has flown by. My parents will take over the house and animals in 3 days when Micha and I want to relax in Budapest for a few days. And everything works so well! It is an incredibly good feeling to let the animals out of your hands with a clear conscience and without fear.
For some time now (didn't I even tell you about it? Forgot.. oh dear..) Wolfskin has shown us the ultimate sign of trust: He lays down (I don't really mean lay down, I mean throw) on his back in front of us and stretches his legs tummy towards. Please crawl! And don't stop! The most vulnerable part of a dog is its stomach and throat - the neck is the first area an opponent tries to bite into. If you know that and then see a scared dog lying in front of you... no shyness in their eyes, but hopeful expectation for stroking on the stomach, neck and legs... your heart must overflow with joy! At least that's how it was for me. Wolfskin then even takes my hand between his paws so he can hold me. And look: even grandma can touch the sensitive underside! Who would have thought that just a few weeks ago?! Isn't he just pure madness?
God how I love this boy.
Sunday, October 2nd, 2016
Actually, there is not that much new to report.
We use the golden autumn and the persistent drought for long walks across meadows and our stubble field; a stop at the river is always included. Shunka and Wolfskin love to run down the ruts. Wolfskin, with his long leash, can almost feel free to do this, and yesterday he even invited Shunka to play! It's great to see him so carefree and happy.
Even when we're not outside, my darling is the ultimate ray of sunshine. He uses every opportunity to stretch out in the warmth of the sun - also synchronously :-)
Today is October 3rd - a public holiday in Germany. We didn't, so I went to work early like every weekday. Since it's still totally dark so early in the morning (around half past five), my two big darlings got a light collar (my little Josy-Maus only deigns to go outside for a short time so early in the morning and then immediately indulge in her beauty sleep again ). Actually, it should be mandatory everywhere and carried out as meticulously as here in Norway: to see and, above all, to be seen. The top priority here, and I think it's right. Shunka has a blue band, Wolfskin has an orange band. I thought at first that the glow might irritate him, but it didn't. My boy is not bothered by being pulled over his head or by the bright light. So well-behaved. And look how important it is to be seen:
Yes I know, Wolfskin's neck looks more like it's on fire, or as Micha pointed out: like he has a huge throat wound.... but the original looks really nice. I keep noticing that cars brake as soon as they see the two colorfully flickering lights appear in front of them --> destination reached!
I find it difficult to leave the house in the morning. Every now and then Micha works the late shift and is at home, but he usually leaves the apartment before I do.
My wolfskin doesn't like it when mum goes away! So he stands or lies with stone-softening
Looking down the hall when I gather my keys and put on my shoes. I still have to turn around umpteen times to assure him that mom will be back soon...
As soon as the front door slams shut, sweetheart starts to cry. Like a wolf. Half bark, half howl. Our subtenant always tells me how long it lasts. Half an hour, even a whole. I then thought to myself that maybe a radio would help. Hear voices. So switched on MDR1 Radio Sachsen. It worked for one day, then apparently Wolfskin didn't like hits anymore. But as a clever head, which I happen to be, I came up with something else:
Every morning I exercise for half an hour with my exercise hoop (hula hop, only bigger and 3 kg, to burn belly fat) while watching TV - CSI New York. For my life. I just didn't turn off the TV when I left. It was worth a try. Lo and behold! My baby seems to be as into crime solving as I am. Or maybe it's just the voices he's familiar with... No yelping, no barking, no crying, anyway. Yeah!
Menno... that look every morning when I go to work... They know exactly how it's done!
Today we had another vet appointment with Wolfskin. Don't worry - there's nothing wrong with him, he's alert.
For some time now, the Norwegian media has repeatedly advised against importing foreign dogs because they are said to cause serious widespread diseases. In fact, many of the parasites and diseases that are common in other countries do not exist in this country. Among other things, Norway is one of two completely rabies-free countries in Europe. Therefore, there are also strict entry regulations, which were relaxed a few years ago. Unfortunately, there are always private individuals and organizations that do not comply with the requirements or import "wildly". The trigger for the media hype, however, was a dog from Spain that brought heartworms with it. Very, very ugly; painful and contagious, the death sentence for the poor dog and a huge shock for the owners.
That's why I decided to have various blood tests done with Wolfskins. Not because I have a suspicion, but to act responsibly and preventively.
Do you remember? During the first examination, the vet came into the car and gave him an anesthetic injection. And here? Skina -Wolfskin- walked in with me on the leash to the vet! He politely stepped on the scales and graciously refused the treats offered (he is very picky). Then Skina sat down on the floor of the treatment room and waited for things to come. Shave your legs...nooooo! The vet didn't stand a chance. Skina just kept tucking his legs under his body, but otherwise calm and not panicking. We then decided to give him a light anesthetic for his blood again so as not to stress him out unnecessarily and scare him. I was so happy that he went in there with me all by himself! We have to drag or carry our Shunka and Josy to the vet... they don't go voluntarily.
Wolfskin then had the anesthetic injected without even wiggling his eyes. Unfortunately, this also causes blood pressure to plummet, and Lise-Marie had a hard time tapping off the necessary amount of the precious elixir of life. That's why both feet had to serve. But look, Lise did it neatly and fashionably, didn't she?
After waking up, Skina squeaked heart-rendingly and cried - no mom can stand that for long. So I took the rest of the afternoon off work and sat next to my sweetheart. And then calm returned. It's just nice when mommy holds hands.
As always, our morning begins at the weekend - with an extensive tour through the forest. Or to put it another way: We read the Hunde-BILD on Sunday :-) There must be interesting things in there, as long as it sometimes takes to read...
Almost 8 months have passed since Wolfskin is with us. It feels like he's been a part of me for half my life. Very gently and without much fuss he crept into my heart and changed me. He's such a frugal, dear boy. He gratefully accepts what I give him without ever demanding. Never pushy or insistently begging, always quietly present waiting.
We have achieved a lot in these weeks, we have grown together. His initial fear made us grow together, and the slowly growing trust in me is balm for both of our souls. At first he didn't even know what joy was. His magnificent bushy tail has never moved happily. Every now and then a few weeks ago we could make out a very slight, timid movement, and today there's actually a real tail wag when I come home from work and he's waiting for me in the hallway! Not this whole body shaking like Shunka does, but a clearly recognizable panning sweetens my return home every day. Let's see if I get filmed someday!
And I forgot to mention something else: Look at the before and after picture on our doorstep:
Our enclosure, rascal yard or whatever we called the ultimately escape-proof fence of our forecourt is gone! We dismantled it knowing it was no longer necessary. Wolfskin likes to be put on a leash in the hallway or goes through the stairwell from the back exit into the fenced garden. We could only dream of this half a year ago!
And this is how it looks now when we go for a walk:
No sign of the panicked dog. Wolfskin is happy to have his collar put on and even sits down in anticipation. Isn't that wonderful?!
Today there is something to report again. I almost died of cardiac arrest, but afterwards the relief and joy was huge!
You know that we go down the stairwell with our two older ones and put a half band and leash on them there before we open the front door and go outside. Our "prison" used to be there as a buffer between inside and outside, but it's gone now. That's why we always make sure that nobody opens the front door while we're putting Skina on a leash. So that he doesn't accidentally slip outside. It has also happened from time to time that our Shunka opens the front door herself when she sees something through the window, which drives her to rush and act on her own initiative. As long as we're there and can let Shunka sit in time, that's no problem either. Until this afternoon.
As always, I went down the house with my two older ones, Madame Josy didn't want to go with me.
Shunka was already jittery because something outside had caught her eye. One second she was still sitting obediently in front of me as I put on my shoes, the other she jumped up, up and on the door handle - and out. I couldn't react as fast as my Wolfskin was rushing behind me. Without a leash! Shunka, you stupid bitch!!!!!! was my first thought - forgive me. One step to the open door - there my Wolfskin stood out there, just 2 meters away from the front door and looked at me expectantly. I called him into my house - and he didn't hesitate for a second! Came to me, sat down in front of me and waited patiently for me to put the leash on him.
I cried with relief and joy. He could have run away! At least in the yard or on the meadow or somewhere else. But he didn't do it, he waited for me. It never occurred to him to take advantage of the situation. What madness!!
My little Josy is dead.
We had to let her go this morning after she suffered acute kidney failure over the weekend. Just like that, without warning. She fell asleep in my arms at home after we both endured an agonizing night. I couldn't let her suffer any longer. Sleep well my darling, I miss you endlessly, a part of me went with you.
Shunka and Wolfskin take Josy's death quite well - actually I have to say that the two don't really seem to affect Josy's absence very much. Certainly also because Josy was mostly on his own and the two "big ones" stuck together. On the contrary - Wolfskin now moves more freely and confidently - the boss is no longer there. Nobody with whom he has to compete for Mama's favor at the same time. Anyway - my sunshine Wolfskin helps me a lot over Josy's death.