Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Heidi Jade

Heidi Jade--Is that not a sad, scared little face or what?

This is little Heidi, waiting, but time was running out for her.

Just another little homeless dog, in a world with far, far too many homeless dogs.

Bet you are thinking I got another dog, aren't you?

But nope, not yet. This is actually my new furry sister. She's pretty scraggly looking now, but give her a few weeks, and she'll look like a new dog. Here are some pictures taken tonight, on the third day of her new life. Her eyes are already looking less stressed. She was a pistol on her first day. My Mom and Dad weren't sure what 'special needs' were but they found out pretty quick when they got her home. It seems she has never seen a leash, had a collar on, and had no clue about 'leading'. Fortunately when she went ballistic and pulled her Houdini act and slipped out of the harness, they were safely within their fenced yard. After about fifty laps around the fence, which thankfully she didn't try to jump, she collapsed and Dad grabbed her. She was crated while my parents recovered. The rest of the first day she was crated. The next day she spent quite a bit of the day loose in the yard with supervision and dragging a leash. She was crated at night. The third day (today) she was crated when my folks went to town. She somehow squeezed out of the crate. Dad was sure she had somehow gotten out of the yard and ran away. But she was just hiding in some bushes in the yard. In the pictures she is tied up with a choke chain on. This was after she chewed her brand new, hours old harness to bits and took it off. The choke is the only thing she won't Houdini out of (so far). She is being watched pretty carefully. She is doing amazingly well, and is getting more calm and friendly. At first she was very shy and didn't want much to do with people.

I think she was pretty terrified. She isn't a wild crazy dog though, just scared. She licks your hand and will make eye contact. She is getting more confident with being petted. The main thing now, is to keep her from escaping until she gets confident and comfortable in her new home. Mostly I think today she just hid out in the bushes in the yard, until Dad tied her up for awhile. Eventually she'll have the full run of their fenced yard.

My parents are really tired! But hopefully things will improve quickly now. Monday she goes in for spaying and a check up. I know it will be nice to have that hurdle behind them.

A little over a year ago, just days before my Mom was scheduled to have open heart surgery, their old dog Polly, started failing. She had not been doing really well for several weeks, but it was obvious that the light wasn't in her eyes anymore and her time was limited. She had melanoma. They made the decision to go ahead and have her put to sleep. I know it was very, very hard for them, but there was not much time to even accept what had to be done, before they were on the roller coaster of surgery and recovery for my Mom.

Needless to say, they didn't want another dog. But then my Mom started really wanting another dog awhile back. Unbeknown to me, Dad had finally decided about a dog too, and they had found a little lab mix called Bella in the paper. She was located at a no-kill shelter, but they were closed down for a summer break, and Mom's calls went unanswered.

So one night I stopped by their house while out walking Boone and out of the blue I asked if they wanted a puppy. I expected the sharp 'no' I'd been hearing for awhile now, but instead got shocked, guilty looking faces. It seems the next day they were going to call about Bella and go get her if she was still there!

However when Mom called she found out the little dog had just been adopted through a PetSmart outing. Mom let me know what had happened. I felt sad for them, since they had finally been ready to make the big leap into adding a dog to the family again. So, I did a search on petfinder for local shelters and when I saw "Jade's" picture I sent it via email to Mom's email with the note that if they were interested in looking at local shelters to check out petfinder. It was just a sample picture of one of the available dogs! The next thing I know they were on their way to get her. You gotta admit though, there is just something so forlorn about that little face.

And if Heidi Jade hadn't been adopted she was slated to be put down today. She had been at the shelter for a month and her shyness made her difficult to place. Evidently she and four others had been dumped out somewhere, and were caught and brought to the humane society. They say she is an Australian shepherd mix. I think she probably is, and will be semi long haired once she sheds out that funky mess of stressed fur she has now.

So anyway, they gots a dog. Things have been hectic for them the last few days. I think it was shocking to have a dog that didn't want much to do with them and was so scared--it's been awhile since they've had a new dog.

I'm hoping it'll all calm down and that she will quickly come to love her new home. She has come a long way in just three days. She is now eating, and taking cheese from their hand and sharing a peanut butter sandwich with my Dad. She doesn't seem to know what hard treats are or knuckle bones, but she will someday. She came up to me tonight and very carefully licked my finger before she quickly retreated. That is pretty brave I think. Transition is always stressful, but I can imagine just getting out of the atmosphere of the shelter has to be soothing to her.

I don't know what the heck it'll do to her nerves when she meets Boone! I think we'll save that for a later date.

Welcome to the family Heidi Jade!

Here is a picture I found on the nets of a red/white Australian shepherd.. so what do you think? Does she look like an AS mix to you? Oh, she does have a docked or naturally short tail. It doesn't matter that much, but it's always fun to speculate. They also estimate her age at about a year old.


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Thanks for sharing the beginning of what I'm sure will be a heartwarming story. How could they NOT get her? And yes, she looks like she could be an Aussie mix, but definitely a mix.

Star said...

She does look like your picture. Her head is a bit more chunky looking, but I think her hair will grow like the pictured dog. She seems well worth the effort. it is so sad that dogs are not loved and cared for properly because they will give so much love in return, far more than humans are capable of! With patience she will become a wonderful pet. Best to let her come to you (all) and not rush it. Dogs aren't stupid. She will know she has found a good home, she just needs to build up her trust. Well done to you all for trying with her.
Blessings, Star

Pat in east TN said...

I can relate to your parents .. after having an older dog, settled in her ways/used to routine, a puppy is quite an eye opener, BUT with time, and a lot of patience, it all clicks and everything is fine.

She's a pretty little thing and keep the updates coming.

RiverBend Farm said...

Heidi Jade is beautiful! When we got our "pound puppy", the only thing she wanted to do was run away. It was terribly stressful. She ran through the neighborhood for a couple hours and would always show back up at our front door with tongue hanging out. What the years have done! Now out at the farm, she is one of the best dogs we've ever had. These shelter dogs have a way a saying "thank you" for their rescue. I feel certain that Heidi Jade will come around and be an awesome companion for your folks.

Vicki Lane said...

Another happy story -- she's a beautiful girl and the fact that she came up to you and licked your finger says that she's beginning to be willing to be friends. Good for you folks for taking her into their hearts!

Nancy K. said...

Those first two photos are heartbreaking. You can just see the fear and pain in her eyes. If only she could speak of the terrors she has known. Bless your parents for taking in beautiful Heidi Jade! I pray they have the patience to outlast the fear that cloaks her heart. It's too bad that she has to go in for her surgery so soon! I would think it would be better if she could have a while longer to feel safe and begin trusting before being put through that. Poor little thing...

I suspect that one day soon, that fearful look will be replaced with one of absolute love and joy!

L'Hélène said...

She's very pretty! Keep us posted!

I need orange said...

I bet she'll be fine with Boone. Dogs who are shy with people may be very comfortable with other dogs.

I got my last corgi from a show person who had figured out that his structure wasn't good enough to show him. He was almost 1, and had lived in a kennel his whole life. A ritzy airconditioned kennel, but...........

He was polite with people (and not scared), but he paid no attention to us unless we directly addressed him. His focus was all on our older corgi.

It didn't take long before he learned that at least some of those sounds coming out of our faces meant things. Important things. Things like "dinner" and "walks" and "go in the car"!!!!

He became a totally velcro dog.

It sounds like Heidi is making huge progress already.

How great that your parents rescued a dog that needed them so badly! Good for them.

I think she could well be an Australian Shepherd mix. She's a bit on the tall side, and her head is different, but when her coat grows back out, after getting good nutrition......

Tammy said...

Thanks for your comments everyone. I think Heidi will eventually be okay. She definately is not going to be an 'easy' dog as she has anxiety issues and lacks social interaction skills with people. I think that time and a routine and lots of love will help her the most. Nancy, the humane society required she be spayed w/in a month's time, and since she also needed to be heartworm tested, and get the rest of her shots, they went ahead and scheduled her. I think it's best this way--as it might have been an even bigger setback to her, a few weeks down the road as she was just feeling secure. Anyway, it's over now, and I hope I can get her stitches out so she won't have to go back!