Aug 22, 2009
Someone had named her "Snap".
And snap she did, as close to the rear corner of her kennel as she could possibly be, from anyone who approached her in any way, lunging, baring teeth, growling. So utterly fearful of absolutely everyone - had her former people named her Snap because they thought it was funny to see such a tiny little dog acting so ferociously? Someone clearly had made this little girl act incredibly aggressively towards people - for one of those insane reasons we don't even want to guess at.
But we had something different in mind for her. And lots of experience with good instincts based on former successes. I waited her out. I would pass by her kennel and say hello to her without looking at her a few times a day. I would open her kennel door, and again, without looking at her, place some tasty morsels on the floor, close the door quietly and leave.
Then I spent short increments of time laying down as far away from her as I could be and ignored her. I did not lift my limbs, I moved very slowly, and not towards her. Using a lot of the calming techniques of Turid Rugas, such as keeping my body relaxed, soft yawning, quiet lip smacking, and never looking directly at her.
I upped the ante slowly, letting her feel safe enough to initiate an approach. At first, of course, there would be slight movements towards me with lots of darting retreats. Gradually, very gradually, her approaches became closer and she began eating treats in front of me, then from my hand. I still did not make eye contact with her, keeping my head lowered and facing away from her.
When I first touched her, I still did not face her directly, but let my hand drift towards her neck, speaking softly and cheerfully, saying her name a lot, and letting the tips of my fingers wiggle playfully just the tiniest bit. It worked. She was ready. My hand came towards her, always touching the blanket, and I never lifted it until I reached her neck and then I reached up to underneath her neck where she could see it. I stroked her gently and she stayed. Oh, baby.
That was the beginning of our love affair. It went slowly for a while and then she made the leap. Suddenly I was the apple of her eye, the person who made her twirl with happiness and jump for joy, who made her heart sing. She trusted someone. She found out about love. And how!!!
Then it was time for others to do the same thing. She needed to continue to grow and expand. She decided that was a good thing to do, although it took time with each new person, with each new place, and with each new dog whom she encountered. She met each challenge with suspicion and wariness and perhaps she always will.
Someone changed her name to Sugar Snap. Perfect. A little ( :-) ), or a lot (!), of each, our baby has finally made it out of the kennel where she began her transition into the dog she will become.
Sugar Snap is in a foster home with Grateful Dog Rescue and awaits her forever home.
at 4:24 PM
Who could resist a face like this?
Well, it didn't take long for our little charmer to find a forever home, but it's turned out that there was a glitch in the works,as she reports from Lake Tahoe (where she spent the weekend with her foster family), "my new forever family has had a family emergency that is going to be a long term time commitment, so they had to put off getting a dog. Yup, me. Oh, dear, dear. So, I'm going to be with my lovely foster family until my new forever home finds me. My foster dad emailed this about me: I am housetrained, crate trained, I know sit, down, stay and come. We are working on loose-leash walking and I am improving on that quickly with his good leadership. I am (listen to this!!) incredibly good with adults and older children, and other dogs. I am active and affectionate and snuggly.
"I've been living on the streets of San Francisco (yes, I have heard of the tv show!) for most of my young life with different folks and I was never sure who my family was. How I landed in the isolation kennel at SF/ACC I'm not really sure, but there were some bald patches on my skin that made me itch like crazy, so I'm guessing that someone just dropped me off. One bath and a few Full Spa Treatments from the folks at GADAB changed that pretty quickly. Here's the kicker, though, I was adopted from ACC by Home at Last Rescue through the magnificent efforts of a particularly spectacular woman who is an ace at finding foster and forever homes. Her name is Joyce. Remember that, all you people who are looking to hire a most excellent foster coordinator. This is her true calling and we need to keep her in this field!!! By gosh and by golly!!!"
"Anyway, on one of the first days that Corinne had taken me out to the shelter park, she tossed a ball for me, and as I ran to catch it, I slipped onto my belly and then frog-legged to the ball. That cracked her up so much that she almost fell over too! Add that to my natural affection for people, that I play well with most dogs, and you can see why she called Joyce about me that same night.
"I am a lucky, lucky dog. J and C (as I call them) make a fabu team. Hey, guys and gals, I'm here to tell you - Dreams will come true."
And so it did. I have a nice size family: two (count 'em - 2!) dads, a doggie brother, and a kittie.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Joyce of Home at Last Rescue in Berkeley.
at 2:46 PM