Welcome, Polar, bienvenido

Things were difficult after Kahlua passed away. One of the worst side effects was that the cats started fighting like crazy. While Kahlua was alive, she was the enforcer. The cats would fight from time to time, but she would not let it get too bad. There were also a lot of times that we were all cuddled in bed together. Once Kahlua was gone, Crème started attacking Ponche whenever he tried to get in the bed. It was bad.

Todo fue difícil después de la muerte de la pobre Kahlua. Uno de los efectos segundarios peores era que los gatos empezaron a pelear muchísimo. Mientras vivía Kahlua, ella mantenía la paz entre todos. Los gatos luchaban de vez en cuando, pero no constantemente como empezaron a hacerlo después de que se murió. Había muchas más veces que se acurrucaban en la cama juntos. Una vez que se murió Kahlua, Crème atacaba a Ponche cada vez que intentaba subir a la cama. Todo andaba mal.

Cats fighting in a box

Douglas was also very depressed. My family members and I were all concerned about him around Christmas. He was so sad it broke my heart. That is why I did not put up more of a fight when he told me that he wanted to adopt another dog, even when he picked one that was going to be a big challenge. Polar was born with a severe facial deformity, and a former owner convinced a vet to file off all of his teeth. Below is a picture of him before with the teeth and after without them. He was brought up from Georgia from a kill shelter and has been waiting for a forever home since last April. He was adopted once and brought back.

Además, Douglas estaba muy deprimido. Mis parientes y yo estábamos preocupados durante las vacaciones de Navidad. Él estaba tan triste que me ardía el corazón. Por eso no protesté más cuando decidió que quería adoptar otro perro, aun cuando escogió uno que sería un reto enorme. Polar nació con una deformidad facial severa y una de las personas a quien pertenecía antes le convenció a un veterinario limarle los dientes que le quedaban. Abajo lo puedes ver antes con los dientes y después sin ellos.

Before and after dog

Douglas went to pick him up while I was driving down to Maryland with my sister. My aunt and cousin from Venezuela and my cousin’s girlfriend from Montreal were the first to meet him. We decided to name him Polar after a Venezuelan beer.

Douglas fue a conocerle mientras yo estaba en camino al estado de Maryland para visitar a mi abuela con mi hermana. Mi tía y mi primo de Venezuela y la novia de mi primo de Montreal eran los primeros de conocerlo después de que Douglas lo adoptó. Decidimos darle el nombre de Polar por la cerveza venezolana.

Polar gets adopted with family from Venezuela

When I returned home three days later, things were not good. The cats were hunkered down in the basement, refusing to come up because Polar was scared to go down the basement stairs. The good news was that they had united against a common enemy and were no longer fighting like cats and… angrier cats.

Cuando volví a casa tres días después, las cosas no andaban bien. Los gatos se escondían en el sótano negando salir para nada porque a Polar le da miedo bajar al sótano. Lo bueno era que se habían unido contra un enemigo en común y ya no se peleaban.

Snuggling cats in basement

Polar hates to be told what to do. He gets very aggressive and attacks when you try to physically move him, grab his collar or simply tell him no. He was barking a lot and sleeping very little. We were afraid that he was going to have to go back to the shelter. At other times, he would be very loving, and we were sad that it would be hard for him to adopted if he were brought back to the shelter again.

A Polar le da rabia que uno de diga qué hacer. Es muy agresivo y ataca cuando uno intenta moverlo físicamente, le toma por el collar o simplemente si le dice <<no>>. Ladraba mucho y no dormía nada. Temíamos que tendríamos que devolverlo al refugio. Otras veces era muy cariñoso y nos entristecía que sería muy difícil que alguien lo adoptara si otra familia lo devolviera al refugio.

Douglas with Polar

When we were just about at the end of our rope, I had the genius idea to take him to the vet and ask for a medication to help with Polar’s anxiety. I actually wanted to give him one of my Xanex or invite my brother over to smoke marijuana with him, but Douglas convinced me to wait one more day to see if the vet could help us.

Cuando estábamos al punto de rendir, se me ocurrió que podríamos llevarlo al veterinario y pedir un medicamento para reducir su ansiedad. Actualmente, yo quería darle uno de mis pastillas de Xanex o invitar a mi hermano a fumar marihuana con Polar, pero Douglas me convenció de que podíamos esperar un día más para ver si el veterinario nos podría ayudar.

Polar on the couch

Thankfully, Polar exhibited all of the behaviors that I needed the vet to see, both positive and negative, and we were able to find a drug that has helped him. The vet agrees with us that he is a loving boy that just needs to be trained and helped with his anxiety. Things have been much better but not perfect. However, we are hopeful that someday he will be a model dog and the cats will be able to come out of the bedroom.

Gracias a dios, Polar exhibió toda la conducta que yo necesitaba que el veterinario viera, tanto la buena como la mala, y pudimos encontrar una droga que le ha ayudado. El veterinario está de acuerdo de que es un perro muy cariñoso y sólo le hace falta entrenamiento y algo para reducir su ansiedad. Su conducta ha mejorado mucho desde entonces, pero tiene que mejorar aún más. Sin embargo, estamos seguros de que un día será un perro modelo y que los gatos podrán salir del dormitorio.

Polar in the crate

It’s good that Polar sleeps in a crate, so the cats are able to come up and snuggle at night. We also keep the bedroom door shut, and since they have their cat door in the wall, they are able to go into the bedroom during the day as well. We try to spend time down in the basement with them as well.

Es bueno que Polar duerme en una jaula así que los gatos pueden salir del sótano durante la noche y dormir en la cama con nosotros. También mantenemos la puerta del dormitorio cerrada durante el día para que pueden entrar cuando quieren por la puerta de gatos que pusimos en la pared. También, intentamos pasar tiempo con ellos en el sótano.

Cats cuddling on bed

Here is a video from our walk in the snow two weekends ago. I tested him off leash. He was a good boy and came back to me immediately when I called him. At least in the beginning, after a while he started to get braver and wander farther and I had to stop letting him roam. That is another thing we will have to work on, but at least now we are planning to keep him. There were times earlier this week when we were certain that he would have to go back, and it was really depressing.

Aquí tienes un video de una caminata este fin de semana. Le deje correr para ver si volvería cuando lo llamaba y lo hizo las primeras tres veces, pero después tardaba más en volver y tuve que mantenerle en la correa. Es otra cosa que tenemos que enseñarle, pero tenemos tiempo ahora que hemos decidido que se quedará con nosotros.

I had planned to publish this post last week, but then Polar started acting up again, and we were debating whether or not we should take him back to the shelter. On Saturday, we decided that we would keep him for better or worse. Then, he developed a urinary tract infection and started peeing all over the house. Or rather he had been peeing all over the house, and we figured out why. My goodness, the problems never seem to end with this beast, but we are committed to him now. God help us!

Había planeado publicar este artículo la semana pasado, pero habíamos decidido cien por ciento si iba a quedarse con nosotros. Él tiene muchísimos problemas y no estábamos seguros de tener el tiempo suficiente para trabajar con él para entrenarle. El sábado decidimos que si por bien o por mal se queda. Después nos dimos cuenta de que tenía una infección urinaria y estaba haciendo pipi por toda la casa. ¡Dios mío! Esta fiera tiene un sinfín de dificultades, pero ya estamos cometidos que dios nos ayude.

On a walk in the snow with my dog

Happy Homemaking!

¡Espero que todos tus sueños caseros se cumplan!

 

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About

I am a teacher, traveler, artist, writer, homemaker and a whole lot more. In January 2009, I bought the Cape of Dreams. It was the second house that I had ever owned, but it was the first that I bought by myself. I now live in the house with my husband Douglas, our dog Kahlua, and Crème de Menthe, the cat. Because, what life is complete without a little Kahlua and Cream? I love arts and crafts of all kinds, and I refinish furniture as well. We are slowly redoing our entire house. You can read about my projects on my blog www.CapeofDreams.com

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14 comments on “Welcome, Polar, bienvenido
  1. Wow! He’s adorable! But sounds like you’ve had a rough intro. I’m glad the vet found meds that help with his anxiety. And it made me smile to see the cats sleeping together on the bed and in your lap. Common enemy seemed to do the trick!

  2. Jacqui Wiles says:

    Oh my goodness, Jessica, you do have your hands full. I hope Polar settles down soon and most of all, that he gets used to the cats. I’m very sorry to hear about Kahlua. Pets bring us so much joy but they break our hearts as well.

    • Jessica says:

      It is so true that they break our hearts, but I could not imagine living without animals. “Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all” in the words of someone far more profound than me. Polar is coming around and the cats are getting braver. Creme is much braver, but Ponche has tolerated being in the same room a couple of times now. The problem is that Polar wants to play, but they don’t understand that.

  3. Barbara H. says:

    Good luck on this challenging journey. I hope Polar is able to process how lucky he is that Douglas found him and that you too have fallen for him. You are brave and patient people. I can certainly see the charm of Polar.

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you from all of us. Polar does seem happy here. He is a smuggler and would be perfectly spending every single minute of every day with us. He has a hard time when we go to work or anywhere else, but he’ll just have to learn to cope.

  4. D'Arcy H says:

    Polar is so cute! He does look less scary without the teeth, but HOW can people (and a vet!) do that?? He must have had a hard start in life to be so emotional and reactive. You guys are saints for giving him a forever home. It’s very hard to introduce a new big dog when you have cats, even under the best circumstances. I hope things continue to improve–you all deserve some peace! Hi to Crème and Ponche!

    • Jessica says:

      I meant to include a picture of Polar asleep on the couch with Douglas sitting next to him with Ponche on his lap and Crème peeking over the arm of the couch. Luckily our cats have been exposed to a lot of dogs so they aren’t as afraid as some cats would be, and Polar isn’t really after them. He just wants to play.

  5. You and Douglas are such a nice family for this dog. I’m sure you can whisper him into calm behavior. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  6. Polar needs time to get used to beeing happy… I hope both love and training can help him… and you! Good luck on this winding journey…

    • Jessica says:

      We met with a trainer, and he gave us a lot of hope. Polar has shown a lot of progress with me, but he is still very aggressive with Douglas. Our second meeting with the trainer is scheduled for tonight. Step by step we hope to tame him with love and discipline.

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