I carried Ava into the house.  She was shaking and struggling to get away from my hold.  I set her down in the living room and she ran behind the recliner which was next to the wall. No amount of persuading or cajoling could bring her out.  She was panting and showing signs of distress.  We decided to let her be.  She lay on the bare wooden floor. After a time when her breathing had settled, I moved the recliner forward a little to allow enough room for a dog bed.  Ava ignored the bed and remained lying on the floor. It was soon time to walk the other two dogs and I left Ava with my husband, when I returned Ava was still hiding behind the chair….

“Any movement toward her and she scrambled back to her hiding place.”

It was then time for the dogs’ supper, and I felt hopeful that once the rustling of dishes started in the kitchen Ava would appear.  No such luck. The only way we could get her to eat was to bring her food to her and set the bowl at the side of the chair.  Once we moved away Ava came out.  Any movement toward her and she scrambled back to her hiding place. Ava was on medication when she came to live with us, so it was important that we monitored her eating to ensure she was swallowing the tablets. I became ninja like in my movements, darting out from behind the wall for a quick scan when she was eating and then disappearing again before she got spooked.

 

“I felt so sad for her”

Later that night after we had eaten, my husband put the television on.  Ava shot out from her hiding place and straight upstairs into our bedroom.  The TV had proved too great a challenge for her and Ava took up a new hiding place, between the bed and the wardrobe. When I went upstairs to see her, she was sitting looking at her reflection in the mirror on the wardrobe door.  I felt so sad for her.  Ava looked bewildered. I sat on the floor and gently talked to her, she couldn’t meet my gaze, keeping her little head low she stretched out into a lying position.  But as soon as I moved, she sat bolt upright again. This continued for the next few hours.  In my head I was mulling over how I was going to entice her into the garden for a pre bed toilet visit. In the end the only was to get her outside was to carry her.  Ava struggling like a wild animal in my arms, desperate to get away.

“It was then the tears came, I felt a rush of love toward her and anger toward those who had treated this little soul with the soft brown eyes so badly”

The visit to the garden proved unsuccessful.  Ava had been with us for twelve hours at this stage and hadn’t had a wee or a poo, but that proved the least of the challenges that first night. Ava, once in the garden hid under one of the shrubs, which was bushy and low to the ground.  I watched her for an age, she looked as though she was settling down for the night on the damp soil in the middle of winter. It was then the tears came, I felt a rush of love toward her and anger toward those who had treated this little soul with the soft brown eyes so badly, that it seemed normal to her to sleep outside. After an hour there was no movement from Ava, and I had to crawl on my stomach under the shrub, get hold of her and pull her out onto the grass. I carried a struggling Ava inside and put her down, she shot back upstairs into her new hiding place. By this stage it was close to midnight and I think we were all emotionally exhausted by the day.  We got into bed with Lilly and Ruby in their baskets and Ava lying on the bedroom floor.  What would tomorrow bring?

Author:  Mary Reed

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