April 15th

Today we picked up Salma, the new member of the family.

This is the first time that we have taken an adult dog who had a home but didn’t know us beforehand. Three of the dogs we have had came to us when their owners died, but we knew them before. Our first beardie came to us when her owners split up, but she was still a small puppy. Other dogs we have had came from the municipal pound or, in one case, he adopted us directly from the street, so in those cases the change was definitely for the better and they settled down quickly.

This case is different. She will miss her former home and many things will be new to her. I hope we can do the best for her so that she will be happy.

When we opened the car door she stood sniffing the air and looked around. With some hesitancy she stepped out and then began to run around frantically looking for something familiar which, of course, she did not find. She went right around the perimeter sniffing everywhere and then began to run to and fro. After a little while she did her business and then began to roll on the grass. Every so often she would come up to us as if we cold offer her some reassurance. The horses proved a little intimidating so she did not venture near them.

Once inside the house she did the same, exploring every corner. As she was clearly stressed, panting heavily and drooling, I decided to put on a TTouch body wrap which she allowed me to do without an y problem. Gradually the panting and drooling subsided.

As I was unpacking the bags she showed a great interest in a little bag I had packed with some essential oils so I decided to offer them to her. She sniffed rose otto up very close a couple of times and then moved away.  Neroli she sniffed once before moving away. Then I offered her mimosa. She stayed about 30cm away for about 5 minutes and then went off to lie down in a cool spot. She then gave a huge sigh and went to sleep. She was still wearing her wrap.

One of my main concerns was the introduction to the other animals. However, all went well and smoothly. I am absolutely sure that the fact that she is so similar in size, shape and movement to Sasha was a determining factor. Normally little Mimi, the mini pinscher, finds meeting new dogs a challenge but she accepted the new arrival calmly. The fact that they both travelled in the car on the way home and Mimi could smell Salma was also a help.

April 16th

She slept soundly on the rug by the side of the bed until 2am and then moved to the cooler floor by the foot where she slept until 6am.

She did not want to go up the ramp on to the grooming table but jumped up as all our beardies have done when they were young. She loves being groomed and is happy to be  touched and groomed on every part of the body with no problem.

The noise of the vacuum cleaner is not too agreeable but she just moves away a little.

When someone came to the house she got quite excited but people are not a problema for her. She likes them.

April 18th

Yesterday evening I did a short zoopharma session because I thought Salma was a little anxious. She selected lavender oil which she sniffed first from about 30cm and then moved closer before lying down. After that I offered Roman chamomile but she got up and moved away. The two oils she showed most interest in were sandalwood and Linden Blossom. She spent about 5 minutes lying beside them very relaxed. I was not surprised at the sandalwood but the Linden Blossom was because she shows no anxiety about people – quite the opposite.

We had been told that she was not bothered by noises but, although her reactions are not very fearful, noises do affect her. In particular the sound of the heating boiler bothers her and she prefers not to come in through the garage if the boiler is working. Of course, this may simply be that all the noises here are unfamiliar to her, but in any case I think it is worth paying attention and taking note.

Today we took Salma and Mimi to a little restaurant about 5 minutes drive away. Although we had been told that she was happy to ride in the car, she had not been out of the house for 18 months except for short walks nearby, so she did get a little stressed during the short journey.

I also found out that she is not used to walking on lead. She has always gone free except for wearing a show lead from time to time, but even that was 18 months ago.

In the restaurant her manners were impeccable. At first she was alert watching the toing and froing of the people but after about 5 minutes she lay down and stayed relaxed until it was time to leave.

One very positive effect of her arrival is that Mimi, the little  ini pinscher, has got a stimulus. She no longer spends her days lying on the sofá but joins in Salma’s activities. Salma, like every beardie worth its salt, is up for every challenge and the truth is that she has energised the whole house!