One of the first things Tippy did when I brought her home, was figure out that her water came from the faucet by the garage door. She started sitting by the faucet to let me know she wanted a drink, even though her water bowl would be full.
This morning, when I took her out for her morning constitution, she sat by the faucet. I don’t use that one if it is below freezing, because I am afraid it will freeze up. Since it was 25 degrees this morning, I told her I would give her a drink inside. So, she dutifully went on around the house to the side door. I keep her inside water in the utility room, on a towel, because she is the messiest drinker I have ever seen. I filled her bowl with fresh water and set it down. She was standing at the door watching me, but didn’t go in. Finally, she put her head through the door and looked around. With ears down and tail between her legs, she went slinking in. She got a quick drink and then hurried out, still slinking. I didn’t see or smell anything. But, I know Tippy, and she doesn’t act like that for no reason.
She wanted right back outside. When I put her outside water bowl down, she emptied it! So, I know she was still thirsty. It is creeping me out a little that I don’t know what is going on in the utility room, but I know it is something. I’m hoping nothing more than a mouse, but she would be all over that, trying to catch it. It is a mystery that may not be solved. If it is, I’ll be sure to let you know.
Tippy started getting worse throughout the week. Not only did she not want to go into the utility room, but she acted like she was afraid to go through any door into a smaller room. She would look through the crack to make sure nothing was behind it first and then slink in. Then, she started not wanting to go through the outside door to get in the garage. Not even a treat would lure her, so I had to use the leash to get her moving forward, then she would come in.
I racked my brain trying to figure out what it could be. “Maybe she started into her house one day and a cat or squirrel ran out and startled her.” I thought. That explanation was proven wrong when I saw her coming out of her house. Next thought, “When I took her to look at potential kennels, she didn’t want to go through the door and I had to force her. Maybe that scared her.” Well, thankfully I journal every day. So, I looked back and she actually started being afraid the morning before I took her to the kennel.
Having run out of ideas as to the why, I started focusing on how to make it better for her. I didn’t want her to continue to be afraid of things that she hadn’t been before. So, I just worked on my energy, making sure that I wasn’t paying too much attention to her actions, unless she needed encouragement, trying to act like everything was as it was before, and being confident that she would go through that door.
For the most part, she is better. Every once in a while, she will have a set back, but she is moving forward. I haven’t put her water bowl back into the utility room yet, but she did go in there on her own one day when I was in there.
So, while I have resigned myself to never knowing what scared her in the first place, I am happy that she is getting over her fear.