Sunday, November 17, 2019


Headnote* (I don't really plan on posting to this blog any more. But then I didn't plan on posting at all after Ray died. Since I'm obviously incapable of cutting Ray's followers off without a word, I'm going to post this Cully update. I honestly can't say if there will be more or not. I like to keep myself in the dark about what I'm going to do next.)

Cully's paperwork said that she was picked up in February in a rural Virginia county, emaciated and in heat. Apparently she was immediately spayed and sent to Northern Virginia. When we adopted her, she had been at the Humane Society for eight long months. Although she was listed by the Society as a 35 pound "hound mix," in actuality she was a 58 pound Treeing Walker Coonhound (if she is a "mix," she is one hound mixed with another).

Cully came with her own bottle of Prozac and a big bag of fear. When we got her home it was raining so we took her in through the kitchen entrance. She was terrified to enter so, with one of us at her head and one at the rear, sweet talking the whole time, we coaxed/dragged/pushed her through the door and into the house. Lionel was interestedly watching from the top of the cat tree. Juno took one look and ran for the stairs then stopped on the landing to see what was going to happen next.

We let Cully off her leash, dried her with towels, and let her go. She paced nervously from the living room to the TV room, stopping at the kitchen door every time to wag her tail at Gregg who was fixing dinner. She showed absolutely no desire to go any further than those two rooms so I brought out one of Ray's old beds and positioned it at the end of the couch in the TV room. She went to stand on it for a second as if to briefly familiarize herself with her new safe spot, then resumed her pacing. I noticed that the sight and sound of the TV was freaking her out so turned the sound to murmur. Gregg and I went about our business and left Cully alone to de-stress, telling her what a good girl she was at odd moments. Based on her house fears, I don't think Cully had ever been inside one before that night.

By 10:00 Cully had worn herself out and retired to her bed. Not knowing if she was housebroken or not, I brought down a blanket and pillow and settled in on the couch for the night. But Cully slept through. Gregg and I traded couch duty for three days but it was unnecessary. Cully slept. For most of the next five days Cully slept, waking up only long enough for us to coax/drag/push her out the front door or back door for walks or to pee.

Over the first eight days we weaned her off the Prozac as instructed by the Humane Society personnel; two pills for the first five days, one pill for 3 days after. By day six, Cully's personality started to emerge.

We have had so many firsts in the last two weeks that I can't even keep up; the first time she ventured into the spinning room and the laundry room, the first time she went up the stairs to the landing, the first time we didn't have to drag her in or out the door, the first time she discovered that she liked the couch (she has not been back to her bed since), the first time she treed Lionel (he was asking for it, he charged her), the first time she howled (holey moley she has a deep voice!), the first time she jumped up into the car by herself (a major celebration was had by all), the first time she used the dog door of death and didn't perish, the first time a truck went up our street and didn't turn her into a trembling bowl of jello, the first time she discovered where we slept and joined us in the morning (followed closely by Juno, Lionel was already there. We had a snuggle fest.)

So here we are at two weeks, four days, the owners of a delightful hound girl who already knows her name, wags her tail so hard it hurts, and is working on getting over her fears one-by-one.

What follows is a list of he things that scared her but that she has overcome
  • going into the house
  • leaving the house
  • TV
  • kitchen
  • refrigerator
  • cars passing us on walks
  • the backyard
  • leaves 
  • getting into the car
  • getting out of the car
The following is a list of things that still make her nervous
  • wind
  • lawn equipment
  • helicopters
  • wheeled things in general (bikes, strollers, carts)
  • vans
  • trucks
  • kids 
The following is a list of things that terrify her and make walking really scary
  • motorcycles
  • the trash truck 

Footnote* Juno really likes her new dog. At first, Lionel was excited to have a dog again, but ever since he was chased up the tree, he is reserving judgement. 
This is really scary. Do we really have to go out?
Ok, maybe this isn't so bad.

Couches are a marvelous thing.

Ahhhh. My favorite.

I claim this human as my own.
I claim this human too. He doth be mine.

Kinda liking this spot. Perfect for bone-chewing.

Mmmmmm. Couches.