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But doesn’t the owner who wants to give a good home to a needy dog also deserve some credit? That owner has chosen to forego the easy path of simply purchasing a dog from a breeder (or worse, from a pet store,) and to open his/her home to a dog that may have issues and/or special needs. Before prospective owners demonize the rescue organizations, they should understand their unique circumstances. Conversely, it would be nice if the rescuers give at least some credit to those who are seeking to provide a home for these dogs as well…

 

I just don't get the whole "rescues owe me' attitude. I certainly didn't take that approach when I got my rescue dogs. I went to the rescue hoping they would see me as a suitable candidate to provide a good lifelong home for one of their dogs. I wouldn't take that approach if I was applying for a loan or even looking to buy a pup from a breeder. Somehow when it comes to organizations like rescues, people get this idea that *they* are doing the rescue a favor by offering to adopt one of their dogs and how dare the rescue not immediately jump at the person's gracious offer to take one of those rescues off their hands, NOW. I just don't get it....

 

Reading these and other posts in the most recent installment of this thread, the only explanation I can come up with is this.

 

Yes, some people have the "all about me, now, and they OWE me a dog" attitude. But I do believe most people that have their hearts set on adopting from rescue, no matter how they come off (and the later apologists of the OP almost always coming off worse than the original OP, imo) don't have that attitude. OR at least, that attitude isn't the main reason they are upset. Now, I DO think most people do at least a little ego-stroking somewhere along the way when they adopt a needy animal, but feeling proud of yourself and the type of person you are/want to be, and what you've done to help a fellow living thing, doesn't necessarily mean you are a narcissistic a$$hole (although it doesn't rule it out, either).

 

But what I honestly believe most of the people who say something along the lines of "but aren't you maybe hurting the dogs by not considering me/her/the OP??" just don't get it that:

 

1. No. The dogs are not being hurt. They are probably doing quite well.

 

2. The dog is no longer in a kill shelter. No rescue dog is getting euthanized for staying up for adoption too long. Rescue animals who are RIGHT NOW up for adoption are not in an overly stressful situation, they are in a loving home, probably having more work done with and attention paid to them than they've ever had the privilege of receiving in their lives.

 

3. Competition for rescue animals is MUCH high than competition for any animal in a shelter typically is. This may have to do with the specific breed and the effort put towards careful placement at a good rescue. Rescue dogs are often, from what I hear, in the fortunate position where they have multiple applications on them at one time.

 

4. Hence, from #1 - 3, no, the dog does not need YOU, in any specific sense. I mean, in general, a rescue organization obviously needs a pool of good adopting families or else the whole proposition wouldn't go very far. But, like a typical job interview (with a pool of qualified applicants), or a college you really want to get into (with a pool of qualified students), or whatever, NO, that specific dog does not need YOU, no matter how great you personally are. The dog needs a good match, which a good rescuer is going to make sure they end up with, if the rescuer has anything to say about it. The dog is currently safe, fed, loved, trained, and it is not waiting on pins and needles for you to call.

 

So, in a way, I think one is doing a different thing than most people realize by rescuing. You are supporting the rescue org, and not contributing to overpopulation. Both very commendable, ethically responsible choices. But are you "saving a life" in the same way a person is who goes to get an adult animal, possibly one saddled with severe issues that may not show up until well after you get the animal home, from a kill shelter? No. The rescuer already did that bit. I honestly don't think people get this very simple concept.

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1. No. The dogs are not being hurt. They are probably doing quite well.

 

2. The dog is no longer in a kill shelter. No rescue dog is getting euthanized for staying up for adoption too long. Rescue animals who are RIGHT NOW up for adoption are not in an overly stressful situation, they are in a loving home, probably having more work done with and attention paid to them than they've ever had the privilege of receiving in their lives.

 

3. Competition for rescue animals is MUCH high than competition for any animal in a shelter typically is. This may have to do with the specific breed and the effort put towards careful placement at a good rescue. Rescue dogs are often, from what I hear, in the fortunate position where they have multiple applications on them at one time.

 

4. Hence, from #1 - 3, no, the dog does not need YOU, in any specific sense. I mean, in general, a rescue organization obviously needs a pool of good adopting families or else the whole proposition wouldn't go very far. But, like a typical job interview (with a pool of qualified applicants), or a college you really want to get into (with a pool of qualified students), or whatever, NO, that specific dog does not need YOU, no matter how great you personally are. The dog needs a good match, which a good rescuer is going to make sure they end up with, if the rescuer has anything to say about it. The dog is currently safe, fed, loved, trained, and it is not waiting on pins and needles for you to call.

 

I'm not trying to be antagonistic here, but where did this information come from or is this just an optimistic presumption that any/all rescues do a great service? I do believe that all have their heart in the right place.

 

First, let me state that I have been supporting BC Rescue organizations with time and money for many years now. I firmly believe in them and the people that run them. That said, this is not a perfect world. I know for a fact that there are dogs that need to be rescued from rescue. I have a BC right now that we rescued from a rescuer. When we picked him up he had been kept in a crate for over six months at 23+ hours a day. Only being out 2 or 3 times a day for exercise, potty, and feeding. I know this because I personally witnessed this. Was the dog harmed by all the crate time? Yes, both mentally and physically. The rescuer was all heart and didn’t know how to say “No” or “Enough”. So this person took in every BC in need. There were no foster homes. The rescuer had 30+ dogs in crates in an air conditioned building. I appreciate the rescue effort because without rescue our dog would have been put down at the shelter. Was rescue a great environment for the dog? Absolutely not. Do I think that in some way we helped by adopting this dog? Yes! .........And I have seen this same situation more than this one time.

 

I must also say that we had an adoption application summarily rejected by a rescue group because we lived in an adjoining state and were therefore “out of state”. I tried to convince the rescuer that we would provide an excellent home: Border Collie owners since 1971; large fenced yard; same vet for 35+ years; great references; etc. etc. etc. I kept going back to their web site checking on the dog we tried to adopt. He languished in that rescue for another 1.5 years before being adopted. Was this a better solution for the dog? I’m not sure. I only know that if the rescue had been a little more flexible he would have had a great home with us.

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I'm not trying to be antagonistic here, but where did this information come from or is this just an optimistic presumption that any/all rescues do a great service? I do believe that all have their heart in the right place.

 

Actually, I'd be the first to admit, and have written in other threads about "rescues" that aren't really rescues at all. And even earlier in this thread I talked about rescue orgs without the means to actualize their goals effectively. But there are degrees, all the way from rescues that do more than a great service to things that should never be allowed to call themselves rescue. The latter may have "their hearts in the right place" but I do not give them anywhere near the same pass I would even a poor county run animal control facility. Sure, the AC is likely to be worse than all but the most terrible pseudorescue, but they are fulfilling a civic function under a budget set by local laws and ballot measures. In my mind, the bad rescue doesn't have to exist, but the AC does (too bad most of these are not better-funded), or there would be feral dogs in the streets. I would feel fine supporting a county-run shelter, because I do believe those people are trying to do the best with what they have. I won't support a terrible privately run "rescue" (I have literally walked away from sketchy ones though I wanted a puppy very badly) because in my mind, if that's the best they can do, then they should quit trying.

 

And there are some "rescues" that are actually fronts for puppymills, so no, I don't really think all "rescues" have their hearts in the right place. In the post you quote, I'm sorry I wasn't clear that I was referring to reputable rescues, like ABCR that the OP named in her post. There are many rescues I've heard about or dealt with that I would consider stellar organizations and I still believe no, those dogs in these rescues don't need me. I hope someday I'll I am able to get a rescue dog from NCBCR, though. But, if they have a good match for me I won't kid myself into thinking I saved that dog's life, the same way I felt about my shelter cat who was going to be euthanized.

First, let me state that I have been supporting BC Rescue organizations with time and money for many years now. I firmly believe in them and the people that run them. That said, this is not a perfect world. I know for a fact that there are dogs that need to be rescued from rescue. I have a BC right now that we rescued from a rescuer. When we picked him up he had been kept in a crate for over six months at 23+ hours a day. Only being out 2 or 3 times a day for exercise, potty, and feeding. I know this because I personally witnessed this. Was the dog harmed by all the crate time? Yes, both mentally and physically. The rescuer was all heart and didn’t know how to say “No” or “Enough”. So this person took in every BC in need. There were no foster homes. The rescuer had 30+ dogs in crates in an air conditioned building. I appreciate the rescue effort because without rescue our dog would have been put down at the shelter. Was rescue a great environment for the dog? Absolutely not. Do I think that in some way we helped by adopting this dog? Yes! .........And I have seen this same situation more than this one time.

 

I don't see someone who has their head on straight in what you describe here, to the point it's hard to believe they really do want what's right for the dogs and are not just thinking of themselves. This person sounds like a hoarder, not a good foster home, and I don't believe a reputable rescue would use such a foster home as that. I brought this up in one of my previous posts a few pages back in the thread as well. I would not agree that woman was a "rescue", no matter what she called herself or told the shelter staff when pulling those animals. I doubt she did any favors to those dogs by pulling them from a shelter, many of which have volunteer walkers, trainers, etc. to keep a dog mentally and physically healthy as possible. Animal collecting is a known mental illness, and usually the person who is doing it doesn't tell other people they are insane, they say they want to save all the dogs. Well-trained shelter staff know to be on the look out for this, but not all staff are well trained and not all hoarders are easy to peg. Reputable organizations care about the dogs they have enough to know there's a limit to what you can do, and how many you can save.

 

I'm happy for you and your dog that it wasn't put down. But there aren't enough homes - this is the reality. Some other dog who was probably also a great dog got put down instead. There is a neverending stream of dogs, and so you have to be willing to make tough choices to actually help them. In my mind, reputable rescues are all about the individual dog. Because of this, there is not a neverending stream of good rescue dogs, only as many as can be adequately cared for. Shelters are dealing with a population-level problem, and trying to do the best they can by the individual animals given that the stream of animals will not stop. That's why I still think so-called kill shelters can be very commendable organizations - they have to save as many as they can and make sure the rest aren't allowed to suffer for the rest of their lives in something like the situation you describe here.

 

I must also say that we had an adoption application summarily rejected by a rescue group because we lived in an adjoining state and were therefore “out of state”. I tried to convince the rescuer that we would provide an excellent home: Border Collie owners since 1971; large fenced yard; same vet for 35+ years; great references; etc. etc. etc. I kept going back to their web site checking on the dog we tried to adopt. He languished in that rescue for another 1.5 years before being adopted. Was this a better solution for the dog? I’m not sure. I only know that if the rescue had been a little more flexible he would have had a great home with us.

 

Why would you assume the dog was "languishing?" Maybe the foster home honestly felt the dog needed something special that just didn't come along until then, or issues came up that needed to be addressed in training, etc. Also, I'm sure you are a great home, but surely you'd be willing to admit you aren't the perfect home for every single dog out there, and maybe whatever you offered was contrary to what the foster felt the dog needed. Judging from the caliber of foster homes I've seen evidence of on this board, a dog could stay a long time and in no way be languishing. But if it was the type of rescue where you knew the dog was being treated poorly while in a foster home, I guess my question would be why would you want to support such an organization when there are alternatives?

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Why would you assume the dog was "languishing?" Maybe the foster home honestly felt the dog needed something special that just didn't come along until then, or issues came up that needed to be addressed in training, etc. Also, I'm sure you are a great home, but surely you'd be willing to admit you aren't the perfect home for every single dog out there, and maybe whatever you offered was contrary to what the foster felt the dog needed. Judging from the caliber of foster homes I've seen evidence of on this board, a dog could stay a long time and in no way be languishing. But if it was the type of rescue where you knew the dog was being treated poorly while in a foster home, I guess my question would be why would you want to support such an organization when there are alternatives?

 

I agree, we may not have been the perfect home. The rescuer stated that “out of state” was the reason for the rejection, nothing else. She stated it would be too hard to get the dog back if the adoption failed. I could provide the long story but I am quite positive this was the basis of rejection.

 

I honestly don’t believe in the term “perfect”. There is quite probably never a perfect adoption, the perfect dog, the perfect spouse, the perfect house. Perhaps it’s my age or experience (or maybe I am just jaded :rolleyes: ) but I have learned it’s OK to settle for something less than perfect because you may never find perfect. You may waste your entire life searching for 100% perfect when 97% will do. That’s what I meant when I said languishing. If they were looking for the perfect home for the dog, it might never happen. IMO, The dog was in rescue limbo. If we had adopted that dog, it would have freed up a foster home so another dog could be rescued. One less dog euthanized.

 

I liken this situation to one at a local University where we have investigated the possibility of establishing an endowment in our will for the veterinary school. Many people do this and it is a great way to give a perpetual gift as only the interest/profit from your principle contribution is used each year as a scholarship or grant to a chosen student. You can make very specific requirements for the student to obtain or be awarded the scholarship. We were told to be careful about being too specific. For example, don’t specify a needy female student, graduating from Tyler High School, with a GPA of 4.0, majoring in veterinary medicine, etc. They may not find a person that year that meets all those requirements and, as a result, the scholarship goes unused. This, in my book, is a travesty.

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I just want to repeat what others have said regarding working dogs in rescue. But I have to note that you say all you have is four horses, so what is your need for a working dog? Do you work the cattle (?) on the ranch where you live and just own the horses? Are you expecting a dog to round up the horses (most responsible working dog folk wouldn't dream of sending a dog into such a situation--that is, if the work is with horses--because it's entirely too dangerous to the dog, and I certainly can't imagine a rescue dog go to a home with that work in mind). It really will be difficult for you to find a rescue who can "guarantee" that the dog you get will work. I've read from rescuers on this forum over and over again that most of them have neither the stock nor the experience to truly evaluate a rescue for ranch work. Dogs that can successfully work cattle are probably even harder to come by than those that will work sheep. I don't really think rescue is the place to look for a dog whom you expect to be able to do ranch work (if by that you mean actually working stock and not just being your companion and general watchdog).

 

I am not a rescuer, but I do have sympathy for those who do rescue because they are always expected to meet the potential adopter's expectations about how the process will go. We are a society (as Matt and Matt's friend who wanted kittens illustrate) who tend to take a "me first" attitude and the hell with those who are truly trying to help. Personally I think everyone who freely complains about rescues and the rescue process should volunteer with a rescue for *at least a month* and then decide if the rescues are really as awful as they like to complain they are. You know the whole "walk a mile in their shoes" cliche, which just happens to be very appropriate for situations like this.

 

Jane, your remoteness certainly does work against you. It's hard to get a home visit when you're in the middle of nowhere, as I'm sure you realize. When I was working full time and running my farm, I can't imagine adding rescue activities on top of that. There are only so many hours in the day. While you apparently have time to struggle with your computer and search rescue dogs on the Internet, please remember that the rescuers are working full time jobs, perhaps raising a family, and also trying to juggle the responsibilities of rescue. Sadly, rescue folks come on here fairly frequently to say they are completely burned out and giving up. Attitudes like Matt's probably play a large part in such decisions. You (or Matt) are just one person. Imagine being on the receiving end of many such people, all of whom think you should drop everything else you might be doing to repsond to *them* before all else. And imagine taking the criticism over and over again. I think it's time for people to grow up and realize that rescues exist for the dogs, and while you might not like the rules and restrictions rescues place on *their* dogs, there certainly are other options out there for finding a dog if you can't tolerate the rescue process. The tradeoff is that with a rescue you'll generally have a dog who has been fostered, whose temperament and various quirks are known, and who has been recently vetted and found to be in good health, but you might have to wait for them to get around to you and your request. If you want instant gratification, then pounds, shelters, or the gazillion bad breeders advertising on the Internet are there to fill your "need."

 

I don't quite understand your comments regarding the division between ranchers and rescuers. The truth of the matter is great working dogs seldom end up in rescue, and many rescues have neither the time nor the resources to try their dogs on stock (as I noted earlier). And even a dog that shows promise a time or two on dog-broke stock might not turn out to be useful on a ranch, so it is easier (and better for the dogs) for rescues not to make assertions about working ability, since they have no way of guaranteeing that a dog who shows potential will work out for your situation with your stock. Remember that a rescue's goal is to find a permanent home for its charges. Sending dogs into ranching situations that might not work out is not the logical choice for people who are looking for permanent homes. While you may be the exception and would keep the dog for life no matter what, I think it's fair to say that many ranchers who end up with a dog that doesn't work how they'd like (or even work at all) aren't likely to be so understanding. That dog will instead be moved on, maybe back to rescue, maybe not. And that's not a fair situation to send a dog of unknown heritage or ability into.

 

Like others have said, if it's actual stockwork you need, you'd do better to use the Internet to search for local stockdog associations or ranches that already have working dogs and find a working dog that way. If it's just a companion/watchdog you want, then give rescues a chance to get back to you. Your other choice is to hit the surrounding shelters/pounds and find something, but what you get there will be much more of an unknown than what you get through a rescue. You could certainly find a real gem that way, but you have even less of a chance of finding a working dog than you would even with a rescue. Your choice. Instant gratification isn't always what it's cracked up to be.

 

ETA: Nancy, remember that screening processes are in place to try and take some of the burden off the rescuers. Yes, some of the rules may seem unfair, but they have to somehow winnow things down into something that is doable *for them.* Yes, as has been admitted here many times before, surely some good potential homes are knocked out this way, but that's one of the downsides of being in a "business" where there's way too much to do and too few people and too little time to do it in.

 

J.

 

 

This is crazy. Why would having horses mean I would be herding horses? We are really not all so stupid. The horses will not herd and go after all dogs who try.

 

I have my rescue dog now. I got her out of a shelter - the second she had been dumped in. When she saw me, she dove under my chair and stayed there. Now she spends her days with her little legs around the back of my neck while we sit under a shade tree in the yard. She also peers from one of my eyes into the other, then presses her check against mine and freezes. I was told she is a year or year and a half old. She had been picked up out of a shelter by a rancher and given to Mexican hired guys to work cattle. Apparently she was beaten with a rope because I cannot put her on a lead at all. She completely flattens. She is very tiny and thin. I am going to make her a little sign to wear that says "I am tiny because I am a baby." She is no more than 8 or 9 months old. The last terrified puppy I heard about was 4 months old and had been dumped because she was terrified of cattle. The shelter was trying to find a "family home" for her. When she finds her inner Border Collie, she will begin herding. Those who do this to baby dogs should be charged with felony cruelty.

 

What I see in all these posts is a lot of talk about humans and very little about dogs. It reminds me of the fancy horse world. Also, a lot of guesses about what the situation is here aside from the home for the dog, then plenty of judgemental comments about the guesses. I have received private emails from working ranches with Border Collie breeding facilities all around the country. The division between the intent of the attitudes and comments is striking. Not one working rancher makes one negative comment about anything or anybody. No conjecture and no judgement. That's the way we are out here. To suggest I "go to work for a rescue" is ludicrous. What rescue? People who come into this area and start dictating don't last long here. The last woman from town who came in here with a lot of money spouting about dog rescue ended up leaving her horse in an extremely abusive environment and disappearing back to Colorado. Couldn't bother taking him with her when she couldn't sell him, so she dumped him.

 

Don't waste time posting replies. I just came on here to find out about what I should be doing with this little dear dog. I will figure it out elsewhere. So much time and energy has been wasted here - for what? Believe it or not, there are rescue organizations who are not interested in wasting time on human drama.

 

Jane Sheridan Collins

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I have my rescue dog now. I got her out of a shelter - the second she had been dumped in. When she saw me, she dove under my chair and stayed there. Now she spends her days with her little legs around the back of my neck while we sit under a shade tree in the yard. She also peers from one of my eyes into the other, then presses her check against mine and freezes. I was told she is a year or year and a half old. She had been picked up out of a shelter by a rancher and given to Mexican hired guys to work cattle. Apparently she was beaten with a rope because I cannot put her on a lead at all. She completely flattens. She is very tiny and thin. I am going to make her a little sign to wear that says "I am tiny because I am a baby." She is no more than 8 or 9 months old.

 

 

Jane Sheridan Collins

I don't know anything about teaching an abused dog to herd, but I do know about comforting abused dogs and you are doing the right thing....just give her peace and quiet and love and time. Our Ladybug was like that. When she came out of the shelter to us my husband sat for hours with her in a dimly lit, quiet room in the recliner until she stopped trembling. Even now, four years later, if something goes wrong in her world, she heads for him, or in his absence, that recliner. In fact, she spends most evenings on his lap in that recliner.... She's a good, happy go lucky dog now but won't let a strange woman near her. Some woman must have really slapped her around.

 

I would check for tape worms. Ladybug was very, very skinny and the reason why was a serious case of tape worm infestation. It took two or three doses over the course of a year to completely rid her of them and she came up to weight. I still dose her twice a year because she hunts and eats mice, which carry the flea which carries the tapeworm.....and around it goes.

 

Liz

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Don't waste time posting replies. I just came on here to find out about what I should be doing with this little dear dog. I will figure it out elsewhere. So much time and energy has been wasted here - for what? Believe it or not, there are rescue organizations who are not interested in wasting time on human drama.

 

It's my time to waste and I'll do with it as I please! :rolleyes:

 

Anyway, I wish you the best with your new dog. There is something deeply satisfying about giving a safety to a dog who is fearful. Watching her gain confidence will be a true joy.

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Don't waste time posting replies. I just came on here to find out about what I should be doing with this little dear dog. I will figure it out elsewhere. So much time and energy has been wasted here - for what?

 

Jane, if you want to find out what to do with the dog, people will be delighted to respond. Start a new thread, specifically stating the behavior you're seeing and asking questions. I've learned loads about my fear reactive dog from reading other people's experiences on this board. I've gotten plain old sympathy and understanding when things haven't gone as well as I expected - and as congratulations when they've gone well.

 

Couple quick pieces of advice:

 

1) Don't push the dog too hard, too fast. That's when I always mess up the worst, and my dog goes backwards.

 

2) Expect a "one step forward, two steps back" process with getting her over the fear. It seems to be the pattern.

 

As far as time being wasted... well, when you start a thread, you can't really govern the direction the discussion takes. People who posted here were obviously interested in what they were writing and reading; it's gone on for six pages. I suppose that means it wasn't a waste for the readers and writers, and I can say that I learned something.

 

It's a good forum with helpful people - and just like any other human gathering (real or online), it occasionally produces off-topic nonsense, snippish comments, and misunderstanding. C'est la vie. If you shun it because of the bad stuff, you miss out on the good stuff, too.

 

Mary

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Couldn't have said it better, Mary. I hope Jane will check back to at least read the last few comments.

 

Jane, if you do check back in, I can't agree more with the advice already given. Mostly your new rescue girl just needs time. She needs time and space. Don't push her too much, or expect much at all from her the first few months (I'm not saying you are, just advising). Baby steps is what you're looking for here, and she will let you know when she's ready for more. Don't overwhelm her with affection and attention, even, as that can also be too much. Let her adapt to you and her new surroundings slowly. Give her a quiet place where she can go to be alone, if she wants, and feel safe. It may take longer than you think, but I'm sure with your help she will blossom. Who knows if she will ever work, but she can be a wonderful companion, regardless.

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Jane, while the discussion in this thread has been, shall we say, "spirited", I doubt that there is anyone on this board who does not wish you the very best of luck with your new girl, and does not appreciate your taking in a rescue dog. I, for one, hope that you will continue to participate here; updates on your progress in remediating this dog and her issues should be both interesting and informative.

 

Oh, and one other thought: people on this Board typically do not hold grudges. I speak from personal experience, as I have been in the middle of an occasional firestorm myself. But the philosophy here seems to follow the wisdom of Confucius: "Things that are done, it is needless to speak about; things that are past, it is needless to blame."

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Hi Jane,

I have remained out of this thread until now but I would like to comment. You now have your dog and in just a few words you have expressed a lot of love for her. In a few words you have given me strong feelings for your dog and I understand how you feel for her. I know nothing about you or who you are but your passion and love for your little dog give me a picture of you I will not soon forget. I would like to know more, I would like to follow you and your dog, I would like to know how she does and how your relationship with her is growing, what is her name. Stay with the board. These are great people. Many have helped me with a full understanding from my posts that I deeply love my dogs and they are my life. I have gotten into trouble but I just put that aside, my focus is on my dogs. I have made friends and I have a great respect for board members and many of them have helped me when I have needed help for my dogs and many others have given me inspiration. I have a fearful dog in his way and many board members have helped me with him and I will remain with the board. I am sure there will be times when I will ask for help again, I will look for inspiration and from time to time I may even take a shot or two but it is not a waist of time. My time is for my dogs. There are many board members who have considerable experience with fearful dogs. For you and your dog stay with the board, gain advise and make friends. I for one would like to know how you and your dog do and perhaps in what you write will be positive input in my life, perhaps we could be friends.

Dave

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Jane - Best wishes to you and to this little girl who has finally had the good fortune to be "discovered" by you and will have your loving care to help her blossom. It sounds to me like this is what was meant to be for the both of you, right now.

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