Our mission is to provide a home to animals that have been adandoned or abused, to show them what it is to live in a home where they are loved.

This is the low down on who's who in the zoo, who gets along with who and which pooches we keep separate and a little of the why.

The upstairs dogs and the downstairs dogs stay separate all the time. This is not to say that none of the guys upstairs get along with the guys downstairs, it' just a way of managing less dynamics. They all know about each other. It's like the dogs that live next door. They see each other over the balcony, they hear each other bark and can spot each other through the gate.

Bernie & Bobby

Bernie and Bobby are the only 2 dogs upstairs that don't get along with each other. The relationship is reparable. It all began when Shumi went into heat. Neither Bobby nor Bernie were castrated either. Shumi was kept separate so neither of them were able to get close to her but the smell was undeniable. This created tension between the 2 dogs that were really affected by it. Bernie was definitely the most affected. He didn't sleep for days and in fact we did an 'emergency' castration for him and even gave him some tranqulisers to help him through this period.

Needless to say, Bernie is always the aggressor in this case, despite being the most relaxed, sweetest dog ever.

Management

Since Bernie likes to go out less and Bobby likes to go out more we leave Bobby out most of the day, putting him and Laica in the kitchen when its either feeding time or when Bernie needs to go out. First thing in the morning Bobby and Laica go out first with Gizmo. Then once they have done their business Bernie goes out. Bernie asks to go in shortly afterwards preferring to lie around all day inside the house. In fact if he didn't need to leave the house he wouldn't, happily doing his business in the living area.

IMPORTANT! Before letting Bernie out, ALWAYS check to make sure Bobby is in. Always let someone else know what you are doing. This is because we are many people working with the same dogs and this is the best way to avoid mistakes.

Bambam & Gizmo

Bambam and Gizmo have a reactive relationship. They are in different camps, Gizmo upstairs and Bambam downstairs but they yell at each other from the balcony. Bambam seems to initiate these yelling sessions which does very little except to heighten the tensions between the 2 dogs and create unrest and anxiety with the rest of the dogs.

Management

While we don't send Gizmo inside when Bambam goes out, we do keep an eye on the situation. When Bambam starts to bark we send him away from the balcony, trying to encourage him to go and play or sniff around the garden. If it looks like he isn't going to calm down we bring him inside and it's clear that he is relieved to not have to deal with Gizmo.

Interestingly enough Scruffy seems to be trying to help with the management of this relationship. As Bambam comes up the steps towards the house Scruffy will often distract him with signs that he wants to play but it seems more like he is trying to deter him from getting too close and prevent a yelling session with Gizmo. Scruffy seems to do this whether or not Gizmo is on the balcony.

Mingo & Gizmo

Gizmo and Mingo are both reactive dogs in their own right, each one in a different way. Gizmo really doesn't like other dogs, he feels uncomfortable and nervous and his way of dealing with them is with a show of aggression. Mingo is a big dog and Gizmo definitely feels threatened by him. We don't know the origins of this animosity but we feel that perhaps when we created the 2 camps the separation is what caused the discord.

Each time Mingo goes outside he is taken on a leash and Gizmo stands on the balcony and goes bezerk, kicking at the glass and baring his teeth, threatening murder. This creates so much tension not just with Gizmo and Mingo, but with all the dogs, that we avoid these confrontations at all costs.

We do not feel that the relationship is reparable, but nothing is impossible. It would take an enormous amount of work and people who really know what they are doing to progress with these 2 dogs.

Management

Since Gizmo spends his enclosed time in a room alone, like Bobby, when there is no reason for him to be inside, he is outside. This means he is patrolling the balcony or manning (dogging) the front gate. Mingo goes out for about 20 minutes every couple of hours. Before we take Mingo out, Gizmo needs to go inside and he only comes out again once Mingo is safely back inside.

If you see Gizmo is inside, before letting him out again, double check to make sure that Mingo is not in the garden.

Bambam & Honey

Bambam and Honey are a mother-son duo. There is no animosity between them BUT that being said they tend to play too rough. When dogs are play fighting there is usually a fair amount of sneezes. With these 2 it becomes clear that this is a family tiff and often we've been concerned that it could turn into something more than a mother reprimanding her teenage son - who is bigger and stronger than her.

Not to say that Honey can't hold her own ground, she absolutely can, but she shouldn't be in the position where she needs to and it should definitely not come to a point where she gets into a fight with her own son. Once dogs get to that point a lot of work needs to be done to repair the relationship.

Management

Honey and Bambam go for walks together whenever possible which is normally once or twice a week. While they are inside there isn't usually an issue, it is when they are outside that Bambam starts to play really rough with Honey, sometimes slamming his chest up against hers.

We avoid this by letting the boys play outside together and then later give the girls a turn to play outside and always making sure that if Honey wants to go outside that either Bambam is in the enclosure or he is inside.

Bambam & Motta

This issue is very similar to the situation with Honey. Bambam gets along well with Motta but often just gets too rough for Motta. He slams up against her and often Motta yelps and runs off to hide. Motta is such a playful character that she never really ever learns and is always keen to play with Bambam, forgetting just how rough he gets with her.

Also, during these interactions, there are no sneezes, making one believe that, for Bambam, this isn't a game.

Management

The management for Bambam and Motta is much the same as the management for Bambam and Honey. The issues between them are only when they are outside together and not when they are inside. From time to time when they are inside they do get into a great play session which needs to be kept an eye on and possibly diverted after a couple of minutes.

Mingo & Jettie

There has never ever been an incident between these two dogs and because of the size difference we are making sure that there never is one. Jettie is a dominant little dog and Mngo is submissive big dog. In an ideal world this should be a match made in heaven. However, Mingo didn't have the ideal upbringing and is not always sure of what is going on, and if these situations are a matter of life or death. Yes, rather dramatic, but those are Mingo's black and whites.

Mingo has an exceptionally high prey drive, coupled with his confusion, this caused a situation that almost got Millie mauled. Millie is a drama queen and would encourage howl sessions with constant yelps. One day, carrying Millie from my bedroom to upstairs, Mingo lunged for her possibly thinking she was wounded prey that needed to be finished off. He lunged twice definitely meaning to do damage. At this stage Motta got involved, making matters worse.

Ever since then we decided to keep Mingo and Jettie apart simply because Jettie is a small dog and could be easily mistaken for prey. And especially since Jettie would be at a huge disadvantage.

Management

Management of these 2 is fairly easy since Jettie prefers to be inside in my bedroom and Mingo needs to be on a leash all the time. All we need to do in this case is ensure that Jettie's time outside doesn't coincide with Mingo's time outside and before taking Jettie out, ensure that Mingo is safe and secure in the kitchen.

Jettie needs to be carried out but comes trotting back in on her own which is why, if you see Mingo in the kitchen, before letting him out, make sure that it is not because Jettie is outside.

Bambam & Vida

The relationship between Bambam and Vida is not serious but it is delicate. Vida is a somewhat nervous dog who really does try to stand her ground. Bambam is a reactive, dominant dog. One day Vida went into the kitchen directly after feeding while Bambam, who eats in the kitchen, was still in there. She started sniffing where the food bowl had been just moments before and Bambam reacted by pouncing on her. Vida responded by growling, standing her ground. Bambam's response was aggressive, grabbing her by the neck and causing some damage. Vida spent the next few days in recovery while we kept the two of them apart.

Management

Bambam made his point and has managed to establish himself higher in the pecking order than Vida. We have since repaired the relationship however we keep an eye on them when they are together. Vida and Bambam don't usually play together but Vida will greet Bambam with lip licks, signalling respect.

Often when stress is running high, Bambam will look for Vida to take out his aggression. Before things get too tense we usually put Vida in my room where she feels safe.

Mingo & Spotty

There has never been an incident between Mingo and Spotty either. Spotty used to come downstairs and play in the yard until Mingo showed definite signs  that he considered Spotty prey. Spotty was definitely uneasy. We decided to keep an eye on things and we noticed that each time Spotty would come down to the window and peer into the kitchen this would set Mingo off. Spotty would be at a huge disadvantage with Mingo so we decided to keep Spotty from coming downstairs.

Management

Mingo and Spotty are two of the dogs that go for regular walks with our volunteer dog walkers. We keep the situation under control by coordinating their walks, ensuring that Spotty and Mingo don't go out at the same time and that the dog walkers are aware and don't cross paths.

Mittens & Barney

Mittens likes to think she is a street cat, disappearing for sometimes weeks at a time, coming back skinny with diarrhea. For this reason she is enclosed in the dorm room where she lives in the company of Gizmo and Domino. One of the reasons for her leaving, we believe, was Barney chasing her off. Barney is skittish and a bit of a feral cat himself. If barney gets into the dorm room, he taunts Mittens, making life rather unpleasant for her.

Management

Barney is an outside cat and Mittens is, much to her disappointment, an inside cat. Since they are naturally separated we manage them simply by not letting Barney into the dorm room when the cats come in at night and keeping the dorm room closed.

Lolli & Barney

While Barney likes to bully Mittens, he gets a taste of his own medicine from Lolli. Lolli is an inside cat with free access to move around. She lives in my room but has been seen up in the yard or on the balcony. When she sees Barney she doesn't pass up an opportunity to tell him who's boss.

Management

While there's not much that can be done to manage Lolli and Barney, by putting the outside cats in at night we have reduced most of the incidents between them.

Domino & Lucky

Who would have thought that there's be no love lost between 2 black cats, a boy and a girl. Well, it turns out that they seem to unaware of their similarities. Lucky is a very calm sweet cat who prefers to stay in my room so she can be alone and unbothered. She goes out to use the toilet or sit in the sun but is almost always inside. Domino comes from time to time to my bedroom window to look for her and torment her. Lucky is scared of Domino and when he is around sometimes sits at the window and growls or runs inside when he comes along.

Management

The only way to manage these 2 cats is simply by chasing Domino away if you see him go to close to Lucky's haven. Pick him up, put him on the balcony or enclose him in Mitten's room.

Clara & The Cats

Clara is undeniably and unmistakably a poodle, a cat chasing poodle at that. She is very excitable and loves to chase the cats although she doesn't do any damage. It's all just fun and games for her. Grissly seems to enjoy the games, allowing Clara to wrap her jaws around his neck while he lies there.

Management

During the day there is not much management that needs to be done since the cats spend their times outside hopping from table to table, keeping out of Clara's reach. But at night when all the animals come in is when care needs to be taken. Before bringing the cats in Clara needs to be enclosed in the bedroom for the night which is where her and the rest of the dogs will be sleeping. In the morning when it comes time to let the cats out, first the cats are let out and then Clara is let out.

So, now you know who doesn't get along with who, check out the Dream Teams page to see who gets along like a house on fire!

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