*ADOPTED BY FOSTER HOME*
Sometimes as we’re getting to know a dog that comes into NEBCR, it becomes apparent that their best forever home is the foster home they’ve been fortunate enough to find themselves in. Dottie came into rescue in December as part of the seizure of dogs from a neglect case, which also happened to be a breeder well known to NEBCR from a prior case years ago and decades of poor breeding. These dogs were primarily bred for unique colors over sound physical and temperamental traits. In addition, they were raised outdoors, not socialized at all, and as a result came with a whole host of behavioral issues well known to not only NEBCR, but to Dottie’s foster family, who adopted a dog from the prior seizure case years ago.
As was the case with all the other dogs we’ve seen from this place, Dottie is very fearful, anxious, and lacks confidence. She is overwhelmed by new sounds and noises, and in moments of uncertainty pancakes to the ground. In addition to the behaviors we expected from this line of dogs, Dottie also had some serious resource guarding issues, and pretty extreme food aggression.
Her foster home had a trying first 3-4 weeks, with Dottie guarding everything – the water dish, a toy, a treat, people, and really anything and everything. Inch by inch, her foster family has mostly overcome this. While she still cannot be trusted 100%, she has relaxed with the other dogs in the home, and they have earned her trust. Thankfully throughout all her guarding issues, she loved her people, whom she bonded with very quickly.
In addition to her behavioral issues, Dottie has some medical issues as well. She arrived very thin, underweight, was diagnosed with alopecia, and her gait was odd and unsteady. During her time in rescue, she has gained 6 pounds, and is now at a perfect weight now of 34lbs. She no longer has alopecia and her coat has thickened nicely.
She has a grade 2 heart murmur, which thankfully is nothing too scary at this point. But on a more serious note, she has ataxia. X-rays revealed that the nerves from the base of her tail to vertebrae in her back have been stretched. As a result, she is wobbly in the rear, falls often, and can not jump well. Stairs can be a challenge for her. She runs pretty well, but her posture isn’t normal. It appears that at this time she is not having pain, and we are most thankful for that. She requires lifting into the car, and some times falls getting out or simply waits for help. Sometimes she can jump on the couch, and sometimes she falls and will try again. But mostly, she doesn’t attempt much jumping, because it often leads to falling. She has control of her bowels, but the condition makes eliminating a difficult and very slow process.
Progress with Dottie has been slow, but thanks to her dedicated foster home, she is making progress. She is just learning to walk on a leash around the neighborhood. To say it’s been baby steps is not an exaggeration. Seeing someone in the yard down the street, or another dog, and she flattens to the ground or heads for the house.
Dottie will be a work in progress for a very long time, and yet another transition for her at this point would likely have resulted in some significant setbacks. Fortunately for Dottie, her foster family fell in love with her early on, and has the experience, time, patience and desire to let Dottie be herself, while they continue to work on her social skills and help her learn the world isn’t quite so scary. They’re happy to do this at her pace, knowing some days she will be ready for more adventures, and some days she will just need the quiet and security of sitting by their side.
We’re grateful to Dottie’s foster home for being there for him when she needed a place to land. Dogs like Dottie don’t often have a lot of options, and without patient, caring and experienced people like the foster home she was lucky enough to land in, NEBCR would not be able to help dogs like Dottie. We are glad we were able to be here for Dottie and wish her and her family a long and very happy life together!