Oh my oh my...do I have a story for you. And its about a sweetie named Mya.
I donate my time to the SCPA photographing the pups (and kitties!) and was there this past Saturday working with 4 different dogs. As my focus is on the elderly or special needs animals, I very rarely even see any of the younger puppies. Well, my trainer had mentioned to me on Friday that she wanted me to keep my eye out for puppies under 6 months of age that might be good therapy dog candidates. So, after I finished with the last dog on my list I started walking around the kennels. As I came around to one of the last "cells", I see two big black ears protruding from the sweetest little german shepherd face. I melted instantly...I mean, who wouldn't...and I immediately brought her out into the agility yard to evaluate her.
This little 12 week old girl had so much confidence I could hardly believe it. She successfully navigated the (low) jump and tire, the tire and chute, and even took a try at the "dogwalk". All within 10-15 minutes. She was bouncy yet eager and just the cutest little thing ever.
We have a weekend foster program that allowed me to pull her for Saturday and Sunday. As I left with her to go to my trainers though, she grew violently carsick. Not something that bodes well for a therapy dog. But, I still decided to hang out with her through the weekend.
And...oh, did I fall in love. This little girl bonded to me by the end of Saturday. She had learned sit and was working on responding to her name and recalls. She also is learning down.
Dakota took her in with ease, as I fully anticipated. Kaiser, on the other hand, my reactive boy never knows if he wants to eat or play with a new dog, took a bit more work. Introductions took place over 3 hours outdoors in a neutral area. Kaiser acted like a bit of an idiot several times and was corrected for it. The rest of Saturday and Sunday I rotated Kaiser and Mya in and out of their crates.
Slowly, Kaiser started showing interest in this little bundle of black fur. I kept them both on leashes the few times they were both out together and Mya finally decided to fall asleep next to me. Kaiser slowly came up, leaned over, and took a quick sniff. His tail was raised, he was stiff. I told him to knock it off. Then he took another sniff. And another. His tail slowly started to lower. His body started to relax. Then...his tail started to wag. All of a sudden, in an extravagant display of goofiness, he did a very dramatic play bow...waking up Mya and causing her to let out a little bark. Kaiser jumped back...then ran up to Mya and play bowed again.
And then, it was on.
I almost cried.
Monday morning I called the SPCA and begged them to let me foster Mya. They told me no, that she was too adoptable. I begged again and they said I had until Wednesday to make a decision.
Well...its Wednesday...and I think I may have a new family member...
***The ONLY downside is that due to Mya having lived for a week or two in the shelter (and no clue where she was prior to that) is that she has absolutely no clue about where to potty. She feels the urge to go, so she goes. No sniffing, no circling, no trying to hide. She just goes. I can take her outside for an hour, she will watch Dakota and Kaiser potty, she will sniff around, but within 5 minutes of returning inside she has an accident. I do tether her, however like I said by the time she feels the need to go, she just goes. Of course we do use the enzymatic cleaner but I do have reservations as to how well it works. Do you have any other recommendations? Both Dakota and Kaiser were mortified to even go near their own messes as puppies, but Mya, again due to her circumstances, will walk through poop without batting an eye. ***
So, here are a couple pictures