March 20, 2017
This is April, Daisy’s foster mom, with an update. Daisy has had a very good week! This was my week to work an extra shift at the hospital in addition to my three days of teaching. So I got up very early four days this week and left Ben (my 2 year old German Shepherd-Chow mix) and Daisy having had their breakfast and a couple trips out to potty and run around. We don’t use a crate, so I left Daisy curled up on a blanket in the recliner chair next to the big front window. On days that I work, my mom, who lives one mile from me, picks up the dogs mid-morning and takes them over to her house for the rest of the day. Knowing that Daisy has been resource guarding her humans, mom was concerned that she was going to have to play referee all day with Daisy trying to be assertive with Ben and Lydia (mom’s 3 year old Collie Dog). Mom was very happy to report to me on Monday evening that Daisy had been a good girl.
Toward the end of the week, Daisy was doing even better, playing with the other dogs and sharing human affection. Mom said she was able to play with all three dogs (Lydia, Ben, & Daisy) at the same time with no snarling or trying to compete with each other for mom’s attention. Mom told me that yesterday the three girls—Lydia, Daisy, and Maggie, my mom’s neighbor dog—were in the backyard playing. Lydia and Maggie were involved in one of their usual games, and mom saw Lydia invite Daisy to play along. Daisy seemed rather uninterested and continued to trot around the backyard smelling and doing her own thing. When Ben woke up from a nap, mom put him outside, too. She said Daisy was so excited to see Ben; she raced to dance around him, wanting him to play with her. Mom said it’s like Daisy recognized that Lydia and Maggie are old friends who play together frequently, and she recognized Ben as her special friend to play with. So, she and Ben are bonding, and the relationship is improving. When I get home from work in the evening, whether it has been an 8-hour or 12-hour shift, the dogs greet me at the door like I have been gone forever! Daisy, who had been challenging Ben to keep him away from me, surprised us when she allowed him to share equally in greeting me this week. The improved sharing of human affection as well as the fact that she is actually playing with toys (previously she seemed unsure about what to do with dog toys) were big improvements we noticed in Daisy’s behavior this week.
As I mentioned, Daisy has been resource guarding her humans, but this is improving as she challenges Ben less now when he comes to me for a hug or to play. She is a faithful companion who loves to be with her person. Whether she is at home with me or at my mom’s house, she follows us around, always within sight no matter what we are doing. If I am sitting at my desk working on homework, she is resting or chewing an antler at my feet. There have never been any resource-guarding issues with food, treats, or antlers for chewing. Although Daisy presses herself against me, wanting me to hold her, she let Ben share the recliner with me one morning this week (all three of us piled in the chair!). At night, she respects Ben’s right to sleep on my bed, and she goes straight to her dog bed on the bedroom floor and curls up with the pillow and blanket that make her bed into a cozy nest. Outside, she loves to run across the fenced backyard with Ben, bouncing in circles around him, and following along as he does his rounds. It is very cute to see the 27# little girl bouncing alongside the 70# boy who we call our Benjamin Bear. My backyard is over an acre of fenced yard and wooded area with plenty of opportunities for smelling and exploring.
Daisy is a cheerful little girl. She LOVES to ride in the car and go for walks. She stands on her hind legs and dances around when I get her leash down from the hook by the back door. We have not done any agility training with her, but she goes up and down stairs, climbs a wood pile, and sails over fallen logs without a care in the world. She runs like the wind and almost seems to float over the ground sometimes. She is also a good watchdog, barking appropriately when she hears a noise, sees activity in a neighbor’s yard, or when the mail truck turns around in our driveway.
Something else interesting this week, I got the report back on Daisy’s DNA. Out of curiosity, I swabbed Daisy for a Wisdom Panel 3.0 DNA test. I was so surprised to find out that one side of her family tree is German Shepherd Dog & Border Collie blend, and the other side of her tree is Miniature Pinscher & “Mix.” The report gives an estimation of the “Mix” portion of the Min Pin side of her family tree with breed groups that are most likely involved. The most prominent or most likely portion of the “Mix” is herding group, followed by companion group, hound group, and sporting group. The results made me laugh! She has gained a couple of pounds, a whopping 27# now, but it is hard to imagine German Shepherd Dog in her. Although, as I mentioned, she is a very good watchdog, barking appropriately to let me know what is going on outside. I definitely see Miniature Pinscher in her; she has that bright, happy, bouncy personality, as well as the assertiveness of a smaller dog. Now we know where Daisy got her abundant natural agility skills! I think she would do amazing with some formal agility training. She has made great strides this week with “sit,” “down,” and “settle.” We are continuing to work on “stay” and “come.”
Daisy still has a few more weeks before her immunizations, spaying, and chipping will be completed, so she is not ready for adoption yet. We just wanted to let you know how much progress she has made from the frightened little girl who showed up here a month ago
March 11, 2017
Daisy is not quite a year old, and is not ready for adoption yet, but we would like to introduce you to her.
Midwestern temperatures are unpredictable: winter-ish in the mornings, and then by noon, hope glimmers as the thermometer rises 20 degrees. It was Thursday, one of those Spring-like days, when April happened to peer across a wide-open field, her eyes catching on a flash of movement. Racing across the wind-blown field of half-thawed earth and corn stubble, was that lone, young dog again.
She scanned the field for the human that would be out for a walk with his dog, but there was no human; it was just the Border Collie. She watched the dog travel the field, turn, and come back again as though searching, searching. The Border Collie turned again, this time, staying near the street. It ran with its nose to the ground searching, searching.
“Oh my gosh. It’s that lost dog again. Three days now.” A frown settled on her face. “I can’t let this happen any longer.”
Catching the dog was not any easy thing, but patience and perseverance won out. Three days later, the Border Collie appeared again, still running the field. Loaded with chicken jerky, April caught the dog’s attention, drawing it closer to her home, but still unable to catch it after nearly three hours of trying. It was obviously hunger. but loss of her loved ones was over riding everything else in the Border Collie’s mind and heart. The dog wanted her family. April sighed and headed for home.
“I’ll try again tomorrow,” she said casting one more glance over her shoulder at the Border Collie. “If only I could get that dog to understand I am only trying to help.”
It was just after dinner when April’s neighbor called. “Hey April! You know that dog you’ve been trying to catch? Well, guess what. It is sitting in my front yard.”
“I’ll be right over!”
She grabbed her coat, her bag of treats, and ran out the front door. April coaxed the dog closer to her house, luring her with kibble when she ran out of treats. Two hours later, the Border Collie was inside. April closed the front door.
Panic flashed through the dog’s eyes, but there was water, food, the smell of good things, a warm place to lie down, and a human who cared.
Over the past month, April learned a few things. Daisy’s family had found a big farm with a nice, big field and had dumped her there. Daisy had been trying to find her family.
Since there are no veterinary records, and the family is not accepting calls about their lost dog, April has taken Daisy to the vet. Daisy has a bad ear infection and is being treated for it. It is getting better, but we need her fully healed before we put her up for adoption. She is also getting her vaccinations, and because she is probably under a year old, we are starting the protocol for a puppy. She has yet to be microchipped, and we do not know if she has been spayed. When these health and wellness concerns have been resolved, Daisy will be up for adoption.
Daisy loves cats. She loves her human and will press herself up against her person, asking for some cuddle time. Presently, she doesn’t want to share that time either.
Daisy is good on a leash and has been trained to ring the “Potty Bells” when she needs a potty break. She knows the command “Sit,” “Down,” is learning “Settle,” and knows “Stay,” but is not solid on it.
Daisy loves to be with people and is good in the yard. April says she will sit quietly out there, staring across the wide open field, perhaps thinking her own deep thoughts, or perhaps still wondering where her family is.