Jerry Howe,
Can you give me some advice on how to handle this situation? Here's the story.
I rescued Bear, a 15 year (estimated) old mixed breed, spayed female. She weighed about 50 pounds in July. Now she weighs almost 60.

My husband's niece had abandoned her in Augusta County Virginia when she moved. There's a special place in hell for her but let's not get into that now.
Bear had survived in a wooded area outdoors through winter and summer for at least 18 months. She often had no food.
In July I caught her, put a collar on her, gave her a bath and took her home. We have six cats and one other dog. They all seemed to accept her and she accepted them.
The trouble started during that first week. She stopped eating and drinking and could hardly stand up. I took her to the emergency veterinary service and they found a large, reddish tumor under her tongue. They gave her some medicine and sent her home. She was eating and drinking again the next morning. The tumor seemed to have disappeared.
The next week she went to our regular vet. He decided to operate on her to remove a tumor near her dew claw and several on her leg and underarm. She came through the surgery well and she is now fully healed.

After a while we discovered that she is incontinent. It's not a major problem.
She has arthritis too and she has some medicine for that.

Bear seems happy. She has a ravenous appetite and she runs around the back yard with Jake, our other mutt, like a 3 year old.

Last week she killed a possum. I removed it. Last night she killed another possum and she was eating it when I let her outside this morning. I tried to take it away and she growled and ran away with it. I ran after her and grabbed it. It broke in half and she ran away with the head part. I persisted until I got it away from her. I didn't yell at her, I just said no, Bear.
I realize that she was practicing a skill that enabled her to survive in the country. When I saw her eating the possum, she was very painstakingly nibbling on her favorite parts, while avoiding other parts of the dead critter. I only hope that it didn't suffer too much.

I admire her will to survive, but I wish that she would now stick to dog food.
To continue my story, that night I brought her indoors to sleep on our enclosed porch.
In the morning I found that she had urinated and defecated all over the porch. She wasn't sick. She was perky and happy. I figure that she was sending me a message - "don't touch my possums".
Should I let Bear live outside except in the coldest, wettest weather? How can we meet her needs and ours too? Any ideas? What about the poor possums? Any insight of yours would be welcome. Whatever happens, Bear is here to stay.
Thank you.
Florence
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Jerry Howe, Can you give me some advice on how to handle this situation? Here's the story. I rescued Bear, ... ideas? What about the poor possums? Any insight of yours would be welcome. Whatever happens, Bear is here to stay.

You've address your question to Jerry, but oh well.

Interesting story.
She wasn't sending any message about the possums, she just had to go out and couldn't get there in time, or isn't housebroken.
How about a fence, so she can run around safely and not catch possums?

flick 100785
Flick,
She was in a fenced yard when she killed the possums.

Also, she is housebroken. Usually we only find a small wet spot by her bed. This is involuntary. She's slightly incontinent.
Florence
She was in a fenced yard when she killed the possums.

I had a dog who did that too, Brought in one half dead. We didn;t discover it for a bit - ick. Drop or give are very good commands.
Also, she is housebroken. Usually we only find a small wet spot by her bed. This is involuntary. She's slightly incontinent.

talk to your vet about medication.

Janet Boss
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
Yes, she's got the medication already. And I do think the incontinence is due to a botched spay operation in her youth.
Flo
Yes, she's got the medication already. And I do think the incontinence is due to a botched spay operation in her youth. Flo

doesn't need to be botched at all. What medication and if it isn't working, have you talked to the vet?

Janet Boss
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
Flick, She was in a fenced yard when she killed the possums.

Wow. Our possums must be more nervous than yours, we've never had one come through the fence.
flick 100785
They are coming through our yard to get to the cat food that we leave beside our back door. Hunger is a powerful motivator.
Flo
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