Una has been with me for two months now 🙂
I came up with the idea of writing an update every month for Una’s first year in Finland. Otherwise, I wouldn’t keep track of how she progresses, in general.
On our walks at home, Una has calmed down a bit. However, she is still anxious if there is a lot going on around her. There is a stretch of road with constructing sites and apartment buildings on both sides. Especially in the morning, there are many people and cars all around us – and sudden noises. Una looks quite nervous in this kind of environment, listening and keeping an eye on everything around us. Earlier, she often tucked her tail between her legs and dodged – like something was threatening to attack or run over her. Our exercise, where Una walks by my side, and looks at me, has helped. She offers the behavior when we walk in any noisy or busy place. I have always rewarded her for this if there are people or moving cars around, or something else that makes Una uncomfortable.
Una doesn’t feel the need to bark at people and dogs as much anymore. This has taken a lot of work. If I prevent Una from staring, all is well. She still barks if she startles, or sometimes if a dog passing us stares her intently and I don’t react by asking her to sit and go between Una and the other dog, asking Una for eye contact.
Una has spent her days in my bedroom, behind a gate. The surveillance camera shows that she does nothing else but sleeps when she is alone. So, all is good and well in that department 🙂 She also behaves very nicely around the cats. It’s funny how the situation is the opposite than usually: my cats sometimes try to make contact with Una and she ignores them – not the other way around 😉
Una’s pads on her paws have gotten more used to walking on rough surfaces, without her fleece socks. She even trots on the gravel bike paths now! However, she still gnaws the pads, inflicting small wounds. And those, of course, are painful on uneven surface. I have started to dress Una in the fleece socks when she is at home, only to the paws that she has been gnawing. And I use the honey-based medical cream on the sores I got from the vet at Aisti, both in her paws and the elbow she licks. It seems to work well, giving moisture and promoting healing. But Una likes to lick it (it smells good, so I think it might also taste good), so I apply it on her elbow before we go out. I treat her pads when we come home, and use the fleece socks.
Una has not been lame at all since the nail that was painful dropped off! I’m so relieved that the nail seemed to be the problem, and not something chronic that would prevent Una from taking longer walks. The new nail looks weird: still a roundish nub without the normal nail structure. We’ll see how it turns out over time.
We have gone swimming once a week. I came up with an advanced version of giving Una a treat for swimming a length of the pool. Instead of giving it from my pocket, I put a very good treat (a small piece of raw meat) in a small plastic box. Una sees this but can’t get to it. We walk to the other end of the pool, and Una needs to swim back to the treat to get it. This has increased Una’s motivation to go into the pool even if she is a bit apprehensive about it. Especially when dogs bark in the dog hostel, in the same building, Una is worried and can’t concentrate easily.
On Saturday, I’ll visit Löytökoiralauantai-event in Helsinki (http://loytokoiralauantai.yhdistysavain.fi/). Many rescue organisations are present, Elämä Koirille ry included. I haven’t decided if I’ll take Una with me. I would like to, but she is still so nervous in busy places that I’m not quite sure…
These two months with Una have brought me lots of joy! My little girl is very special, and I love her to bits ❤