(mostly) Good news abounds with the Wilbert. First - he responded to neither "Wilbur" or "Orville", so I have offically decided to go with Wilbur. He has no secondary skin infections that require treating. The groomer (the Pet Gallery in Atlanta - oh how I love them!) did a WONDERFUL job grooming him. They said he was a super sweet boy (which he is). They were able to work through some of the hair on his head, so he looks very poodle-ish right now, but his body is cut to the skin (the hair is maybe 1/8"). He is so skinny and ribby and knobbly that I keep tearing up when I see him walking (you can see how all of his bones work and it's just so sad and it just didn't have to be like this for him).
I brought Callie home from daycare last night, and had Wilbur in the kitchen with doors shut. We're having crating issues, so I let him hang out there. Wilbur had a couple of hours to hang in the house and get to know it before Callie came home, but he had zero desire to sniff around - he really just wanted to hang out with me, whatever I was doing (I'd been told to kind of ignore him and let him do his own thing, but this guy has NO interest in being ignored). I wasn't really worried about Callie's reaction to Wilbur - Callie is such a friendly, muppety doodle. I was worried that she'd be too exuberant for this shy, scared guy and that he would get wiggy and nip at her or freak out. At first, they really just ignored each other. Callie hopped up on the sofa with me for our evening snuggle (it's a bit of a ritual around here). Then, I got up for a second - Callie followed me and and Wilbur hopped right up on the sofa. I was really cracking up on the inside - I kept thinking of reading Jane's posts about how Murphy is learning to sit, etc, because he has Guinness' good example. Obviously, Wilbur is picking right up on Callie's less than awesome habits! Then, I got out leashes to take everyone on a walk...for some reason, Callie hopped up on the coffee table (which has NEVER happened before)...and so did Wilbur! I really started to feel like Wilbur's doodley brain was saying "hey - whatever that furry black dog gets to do, I get to do too!".
I was expecting some resource guarding from Wilbur, and picked up all the toys and put food and water bowls very far away from each other. The one resource that never occured to me was...ME. Wilbur sat at my feet and growled at Callie every time she tried to come up to me. It was a pretty passive growl. and he'd stop if I said anything, but it was persistant.
Then came the adventure of bed time. I had it all worked out. I took the crate upstairs, put the blanket from the sofa in it (Wilbur had already sat on it, so it would smell like everyone in the house, including himself) and brought up and entire chunk of cheddar cheese (I already established that he liked the cheese) to lure him, bit by bit into the crate. He was not fooled and not biting. I spent over an hour trying to bribe, cajole, and drag him into this crate, but he dug in and I actually couldn't get him into the crate. Then it was midnight and I was beat. I decided he could sleep in Callie's bed (she always sleeps with me anyway). I got him settled down there, but before I had the blankets pulled up, Wilbur was in bed too! I know that this is not from the offical foster's handbook, but I decided that Wilbur was telling me that he needed warmth and affection more than he needed a crate (all the experienced foster parents can tell me about what a huge mistake I've made). Wilbur slept through the night, with Callie in the same bed, with no issue.
Wilbur is reminding me a lot of Callie, when I first brought her home from the shelter. Just like Callie, Wilbur seems hungry to give love and affection. It is truly amazing to me. We were walking today, and Callie was peeing...Wilbur stopped and jumped up and put his paws on my shoulders and gave me a doodle hug. Yes, I cried.
Here are the issues: the crate. he's not eating well. I don't think he's drinking enough (his urine is dark). He hasn't pooped since I got him. Thoughts?