Tori, a thirteen-month-old mutt, came to the Farnival with a name and a history. Do you remember Buddy? The dog without a tail?
Tori is Buddy’s littermate. Before Beth’s son had become uncooperative with ICHBA, we were able to rescue two animals from the family’s premises, both of which were Buddy’s littermates. Neither dog had a name when they came into the program, so their foster families named them Tori and Bradley. Bradley has been successfully rehomed and now works in an alternative school.
Tori is another story. She was adopted, but shortly later the family returned her after she exhibited the same problem Meadow has, which is separation anxiety from other animals. Both Tori and Meadow need to live in a pack of some sort or they act out by ripping things up and going to the bathroom all over the house.
Since she’s been back with ICHBA, she has been living with Kristen, another foster mom, but Kristen is going away for a few weeks, so Tori came to stay at the Farnival. Kristen said Tori has progressed by leaps and bounds since she had first met her. I didn’t ask for details on her original behavior. I can guess by the way she behaved here for the first two days.
I often wonder how severe the abuse must be that people hand out to these animals that makes the memory linger long after they’ve been in a kind home. What must have happened to Tori during her first seven months on this earth to make her cower every time I reach to touch her with kindness? It’s like these poor animals can’t remember the gentleness of the past couple of months because the first few terrible ones overshadow everything else.
Tori has to learn to trust my pack and me, but earlier I saw signs that she’s “blossoming,” meaning she’s coming out of her shell, because I caught sight of Silvio and Tori chasing Meadow around the mosh pit. That’s another thing that has been really hard for Tori. Every time I’d take her to the backyard to play with Meadow and Silvio, she’d cower at my feet, or when Meadow would try to chase her, Tori’s ruff would bristle, tail tucked.
Overall, my pack has been treating her with a gentle toughness, except for Meadow, who unconditionally loves everybody and everything, and is over the moon to have another playmate, acting like Tori is a long lost sister. Meadow lives by the motto: the more the merrier.
Silvio, our foster dog, did his typical bite-as-a-greeting, and over the first two days, I had to separate them a few times, but their fights weren’t difficult to break up. They aren’t super- aggressive fights, more like two kids on the playground, stubbornly standing their ground.
Unfortunately, since this morning’s breakthrough, Tori hasn’t left my side, sitting next to my feet and obsessively following me from room to room. It’s an unhealthy attachment that I’ll have to work on with her, but she may just need a few more days here before she gets comfortable enough to venture out on her own again.
This Saturday, ICHBA will be at the Tractor Supply Company in Springfield, TN for a dog adoption day. Last time we participated in one of these affairs, the only folks that showed up to look at the dogs were hoarders. I mean straight-up hoarders, like people with fifteen dogs and actively searching to add more. One crazy lady had twenty-two designer bred Yorkshire Terrier-Something puppies flown in from some Middle Eastern country. Who knew?
Hopefully, we’ll have more luck this Saturday, when all Tori’s cuteness will be on display at TSC, where she’ll be wearing her red adopt me vest. Donna and I will be searching be for a gentle family with a dog or two already in their home. We’ll have to be pickier this time because Tori’s on her second abandonment, and we don’t want a third.