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Introducing my new girl...

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It’s been a few years now since I’ve frequented the boards here.  I lost my beloved Jill a year ago last month—a loss I continue to grieve, and typing this, emotions that surface are raw. My little Bing dog, the sole remaining survivor from my original pack of 5, and the only non-herding breed member, still provides his magical anti-depressant powers (I refer to him as my little Prozac)... especially helping me weather many dark days over the course of the pandemic—he has been my salvation.

For a long time I was on the fence about acquiring another border collie, vacillating back and forth.  Periodically I would peek at rescue websites and Craig’s List for potential candidates. Last Spring I was approved and first in line to adopt a lovely young adult female, but the timing was bad. I had already committed to fostering a reactive young sheltie mix who was scheduled for spay surgery, so I didn’t feel up to taking on both simultaneously.  Over the past year I had made around half a dozen inquiries, all having been adopted out by the time of my contact. Well, long story short, 3 weeks ago today, I drove two hours to Phoenix and came home with this little cutie. I had promised myself I wasn’t going to take on another “project”, having previously acquired two dogs with significant aggression issues, and another with major fear/socialization issues, all of whom lived out their entire lives with me. This time I just wanted a happy, well-adjusted, uncomplicated hiking companion (Bing has many wonderful qualities, but trail dog is not one of them!)  My new girl, now christened Mouche, (phonetic pronunciation, Moosh-- like a lush slurring “Moose”) did not fall into that desirable personality profile. Like many of us, I have a type--petite and pointy and at 26lbs she checks those boxes.  She definitely needs some groceries.  I find myself singing Boney Maroney to her.  When I arrived at the shelter at opening (first come, first serve) and she was brought into the small play yard for our meet and greet, she just couldn’t bring herself to engage with any human.  She paced the fence line, avoided interaction (I initially sat very still and didn’t apply pressure her), moved furtively, ignored high value treats and generally wouldn’t acknowledge my presence nor that of any of the shelter attendants. Inquiring about her background, I learned she had been at the shelter for over a month and a half, she was an owner surrender, was about a year and a half old, and had spent the first week plus at the shelter cowering under her bed.  Though there had been a lot of prior interest in her, there were no takers, likely due to her inability to engage.  This shelter does no adoption screening.  I was not asked a single question about the suitability of my home-- you plunk down your money and you take home your dog--I just couldn’t leave her there. I figured if she wasn’t an acceptable fit in my house (and Bing would have final approval) then I would do what I could to re-hab and re-home her to an appropriate situation via the local rescue I volunteer for.

That first day as soon as we arrived home, I took her for a long walk to expend some of her anxious energy. She tried to cower in the drainage ditches and crawl into the culverts, and then flattened herself onto the street. Without facing her I continued to walk forward, gently urging her on. She was like a fly on a string. Then I introduced her into my segregated smaller fenced area within the larger fenced yard where she cowered frozen against the fence. Within 72 hours she was seeking me out for attention and affection.  I waited a few days to introduce her to Bing other than through a baby gate or the fence, to give her time to decompress.  Within moments of their first face to face, she play-bowed and it was on. Her progress has far surpassed my expectations!  Now, though she is still timid and often furtive, she dances at the door when I ask her if she wants to go for a walk, puts herself to bed in her crate at night and greets me with a wagging tail and joyful expression every morning. She is somewhat reactive to other people we occasionally see on the street while walking, but I’m sure as her confidence improves this will resolve.     Meet Mouche: Day 1 and Day 3




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Great intro, Nancy, and thanks for saving Mouche (love the name!).  Bing just might be her spirit guide for a while, what a cool picture of them on Day 3.  I look forward to hearing more of your progress with Mouche!


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Wonderful 'gotcha' story, Nancy. Mouche looks like she's settling in well and happily. That second pic of her play soliciting, (at least that's what it looks like to me!) is the look of a happy dog, ready to get down and do some doggy play stuff. Congratulations to you all! 

Ruth & Gibbs

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Patience and love are working miracles with Mouche; she could not have found a better home!  She is a beautiful dog and bless you for taking the chance and now reaping the reward!

Hopefully the two of you will have many happy years together!

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