Time for Roxie to Move On

She’s been with us for a week now, and … it’s been trying. This is always a possibility when rescuing a dog, and she just happens to be a bit rougher around the edges. But, we are going to get her another foster-home.

Some things we have observed about her:

She is a VERY active girl who is constantly on-the-go from wake-up time until bedtime, with a rest or two. She totally appreciates her rescue with happy tail-wagging anywhere she goes. She would fit well with a family that has lots going on for her to keep track of, and who will be glad to include her in everything they do. She doesn’t appear to be 7-1/2 years old, but only one or two; her energy level is that high and so requires patience. Roxie is just starved for affection, and it would be best if she had some type of job to do, or someone to care for all the time – otherwise she will want to lay all over you or find some way to get ‘pets’ and attention constantly. She will follow you everywhere you go – the textbook “Velcro dog.”

Roxie is intuitive. She has a quick, problem-solving mind, and has demonstrated it on several occasions. One common one is that when on walks on a long lead, she can get tangled in a bush or tree; any common dog would just go deeper into trouble, and require your intervention. Roxie will take a few moments to try to continue and then find that the lead is caught. Then the mind goes to work: She will figure out how to get completely untangled – by herself – and all you need to do is keep the slack out of the lead. Within moments she is completely free and back at your side.

When Roxie came to us, she was as rough as she could be – minimum socialization, no knowledge of any commands, and not housebroken. She has learned sit, lie down (sort of), stay in the house (don’t cross the door threshold), and is working on her housetraining. She appears to have learned to do #2 outside, but has not yet fully learned to go outside for #1. But praise for going out and doing #1 is having an effect, as she is beginning to ‘get it.’

However, she does not yet get the meaning of ‘NO,’ and this may present some challenges to her future training. She has a LOT to learn, but if you reset your view of her to one of being a puppy, and then adjust your patience and expectations to that point, you have a good place from which to start.

She is VERY praise-motivated, and learns lightning-quick with praise, hugs, and love. She is somewhat food-motivated, as it appears she was free-fed previously. She initially had some trouble at morning breakfast time to understand to eat when it is set before you. She would leave her full dish and come to our side just for the companionship.

She is very good at bedtime. She lets us sleep through the night, and doesn’t cause a fuss unless you try to sleep later than 7AM. Then she gets restless and has to start “WWE-style” heavy-wrestling with Wheaton. This energy surge is usually taken care of on most days except Saturday, or a day off, because I typically have them out for “walkies” down to the paper box at the end of the road much earlier than that. But when I’m trying to catch up on sleep I’ve missed during the week, the thumping, growling, barking, and running around gets pretty loud and is not appreciated.

Unfortunately she does not fit well in our home. She fits in only with dogs of certain personalities, notably Wheaton our Golden, who is able to put up with being charged, and stands up directly and forcefully to her when he’s had enough. The worst thing of all: She charges Pepper, our older Shetland Sheepdog, and will not interpret his walking away as an attempt to escape and a wish to be left alone. We have had to watch the two of them carefully to prevent an altercation; and this is why we have had to ask for her to be re-foster-homed.

Meanwhile I’ve gotten a couple good photos of her that perhaps Golden Bond can use when placing her. This is tough, because she’s always in motion.

Click on them to enlarge.

Here she is, foreground. Wheaton, background, is 70#, she is 50#

And we always need a closeup.

Am I cute? Can I lick the camera lens now?

I would have like to use fill-flash, but she is so inexperienced inside a house that I didn’t want to scare her.

Update, 9-7:
We took her to her next foster-home this morning, and were initially wondering how she’d do with someone different. We needn’t have worried. The new foster-mom got down on her level, gave her a hug, and was quickly inundated with tongue, paws, and tail-wagging. Roxie soon wandered off to begin investigating her new foster-home, which incidentally has TWO Goldens, and we know she’ll be happy and continue to learn. The new foster-mom put her finger to her chin as we were telling her about Roxie’s urination-in-the-house, and wondered if she might have a urinary tract infection.

Forehead slap: It makes sense, given her incessant drinking. Keep in mind she’d been on the run for a very long time prior to us getting her, and likely had not seen a vet for many years.

We wish you well, Roxie. We know you’ll bring your kind of Golden joy to a busy household somewhere, soon.

Update, December 2011:

I got in touch with the next Foster Mom and Roxie stayed only one day with her. She took Roxie to the vet and it was confirmed she had a urinary tract infection. However, there was a family who was perfectly suited to her personality and temperament, and they took her right away. She was on a course of antibiotics, and the infection cleared.

So Roxie has a family to love her and for her to love; AND our story has a happy ending!

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